HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Federal agents are partnering with local law enforcement to address recent fentanyl overdoses in Hays County.

Thursday, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Kyle Police Department and Hays County Sheriff’s Office held a joint press conference laying out their new initiatives.

“Once it makes it into your community, it’s there, and quite frankly we’re going to have to dig it out,” DEA Agent Tyson Hodges said.

DEA special agent holds up two images of M30 pills
DEA Special Agent Tyson Hodges said it’s extremely hard to tell the difference between an authentic pill versus a fake one.

This is an issue that hits Darren and Shannon McConville close to home. Their son died of a fentanyl overdose just last month.

“My son was everything. He’s who made us parents,” Shannon said.

Shannon said after his death, she found out he was taking Percocet and Xanax to help him sleep. But she said this time, he didn’t know it was laced with fentanyl.

It’s an issue that has the full attention of law enforcement.

New fentanyl initiatives

Hodges said the DEA, along with the Texas National Guard and Hays County Local Health Department, will create an overdose task force.

“The goal of the task force is to track down and arrest violent criminals peddling fake fentanyl or fake pills,” Hodges said.

The Hays County Sheriff’s Office also announced a partnership with the fire department and EMS to create an overdose map tracking system. It’s meant to help track fentanyl in the county.

Fentanyl-related arrests

Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said so far, their investigations have led to two arrests. One of them was 20-year-old Anthony Jean Perez Rios.

He was arrested in San Marcos and charged with the following:

  • manufacture and delivery with intent to distribute a controlled substance
  • delivery of a controlled substance to a child
  • possession of a controlled substance

“He had nearly 400 counterfeit Percocet pills containing fentanyl,” Barnett said.

Chief Barnett said Anthony Jean Perez Rios, 20, is from the San Marcos area.
Chief Barnett said Anthony Jean Perez Rios, 20, is from the San Marcos area.

The other was a 16-year-old who was charged with the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. 

Law enforcement said drug cartels are using social media to sell and disperse fentanyl. They said they’re even sending direct messages to teenagers and using code names.

Officials said the fight against fentanyl is far from over. They encouraged the community to do its part in preventing the use of these pills.

The McConvilles agree.

“See something, say something,” Shannon said.