A man has been arrested after being accused of selling a teenager substances that led to her overdose and death just days before her graduation.
Franklin Senfles, 22, of Gretna, Louisiana, US, is charged with one count of Second Degree Murder in connection to the overdose death of Hailey Deickman, 18, of Belle Chasse, along with one count of Attempted Second Degree Murder of a second victim.
Deputies say Senfles was positively identified as being involved in the drug deal with Deickman and was arrested by the St. Gabriel Police Department in coordination with PPSO and the Westbank Multi-jurisdictional Task Force hosted by the Gretna Police Department.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office says the student took half of a pill sold on the street as prescription Percocet.
But authorities say it was actually likely a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl which was brought to the US by Mexican drug cartels – and that the deadly drug can kill after just one usage.
Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office (PPSO) deputies and investigators say they responded to the report of an overdose on the evening of May 14.
Upon arrival, officers along with Plaquemines Parish Emergency Medical Services discovered Deickman and a second victim unresponsive.
Deickman was legally pronounced dead at Ochsner Hospital Westbank Campus four days later.
"The amount of fentanyl currently being used in illegal narcotics is not only dangerous, but it’s becoming a major public safety issue," said Sheriff Turlich.
"We will continue to aggressively pursue any individual that spreads this poison into our community."
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"It’s scary what’s going on right now. We have a national drug overdose epidemic," says DEA Special Agent In-Charge, Brad Byerley.
He added: "What we’re seeing is the Mexican Cartels are pushing the drugs into our country. They’re lacing a lot of the illicit drugs with this fentanyl, particularly what we’re seeing is counterfeit pills."
Special Agent Byerley says it’s difficult to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s counterfeit.
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He said: "These counterfeit pills are disguised to look like, oxycodone, pain medications or Xanax. What happens is people are buying these pills off the street, thinking they’re buying something that a health care provider prescribed to someone."
Byerley says the DEA wants to warn the public.
He said: "Two milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose, so one of our slogans is 'one pill can kill'. It’s crazy dangerous."
Hailey's mum told FOX 8, she had been an honor roll student who always stayed out of trouble.
She added her daughter was a "beautiful person who just made a bad choice that cost her, her life".
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