AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Monday, a teen was arrested by Kyle and San Marcos Police in connection to a fatal fentanyl overdose case involving a minor.
Officials said 18-year-old Jubenal Flores Sanchez was arrested following an investigation involving the delivery of fentanyl and the “death of a child” in Hays County. He does not have an attorney listed online at this time.
KXAN reached out to the City of Kyle communications department about when the death occurred, and it said to protect the identity of the victim and at the request of the family, it was not releasing that information at this time.
According to the City of Kyle, Sanchez was charged with the delivery of a controlled substance and the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. Officials said the District Attorney’s Office would decide whether additional charges would be added.
“He was linked to this death through the investigation of various social media accounts and other data obtained through a search warrant,” officials said.
Officials with both the Kyle and San Marcos Police Departments have been diligently investigating cases involving fentanyl and fentanyl-related overdoses, according to the city.
“Our community is safer due to the hard work and commitment our police officers and detectives are putting into investigating fentanyl cases,” Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said. “Their commitment to these types of investigations will continue as we all work together to keep our loved ones safe and stop the spread of this dangerously fatal drug.”
This arrest comes after a year filled with similar losses of life from fentanyl-related overdoses in the county.
Officials in Hays County said a Hays CISD student died from a fentanyl overdose two days into 2023, and in 2022, the sheriff’s office reported a total of 37 fentanyl overdoses, 14 of which involved juveniles between 13 and 17 years old. Hays CISD told KXAN in January four of its students died of overdoses last year.
Jason Howell is the executive director of Recovery People, a nonprofit that advocates for addiction help resources.
Howell said arrests like these are important for curbing substance-related deaths but more support is needed to solve that issue long term.
He said resources for youth, like substance-abuse education, can be key to help them avoid starting behavior that could develop into a substance abuse addiction.
For juveniles already experiencing substance abuse problems, access to sober high schools, harm reduction tools and recovery housing could help them on the road to recovery.
“We cannot arrest our way out of this problem any more than we can prescribe our way out of the problem. If we can get people plugged in and connected with the right services that matches their particular goals and needs, it will save so much money, as well as save lives,” Howell said.