Three arrests have been made in connection with one death and one “near death” as a result of recent drug overdoses in the southwestern part of the county, said Sgt. Larry Kish, spokesman for the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.
A 20-year-old woman was found dead by her mother on the morning of Jan. 21, Kish said. The woman, according to the sheriff’s office, died early that day of an apparent drug overdose at her home.
During the investigation of the victim’s death, the Denton County Drug Enforcement Unit was called upon to look into the source of the narcotic suspected to have caused or contributed to her death.
“It was learned there had been two additional near-death overdoses in the [southwestern] part of Denton County during [the] investigation,” Kish said.
After investigating, the drug enforcement unit named David Ray Kennedy, 27, as the alleged source of the narcotic that the victim had taken. Kennedy was arrested Friday on charges of driving with an invalid license, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance, Kish said.
Following his arrest, Kennedy gave a videotaped statement to investigators in which he allegedly admitted providing the narcotic to the victim on the night of her death, a news release from the sheriff’s department stated.
Kennedy then was charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing serious bodily injury or death — a felony offense. He was being held Tuesday in Denton County Jail in lieu of $503,500 bail.
The narcotic, according to county officials, was in pill form, and investigators weren’t releasing the name.
Tyler Austin Hoffman and Jacob Mack Miller, both 21, were arrested last week in connection with a “near-death” overdose in Roanoke, Kish said.
“We always take these cases very seriously, and we will prosecute those responsible to the limits of the law,” Sheriff Will Travis said of the ongoing investigations.
Hoffman was charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing serious bodily injury or death and was being held in Denton County Jail in lieu of $190,000 bail, according to jail records.
Miller was charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing serious bodily injury or death and criminal trespass and was being held in the jail in lieu of $225,000 bail, according to county records.
No arrests have been made in connection with the second near-death overdose, Kish said.
The Denton County Sheriff’s Office will take on a more active role to crack down on such cases, he said.
“I’m really concerned about all of the county,” Kish said. “We are looking to take on a more proactive, instead of reactive, approach in light of the investigation findings in the southern part of the county where we have seen an increase of narcotic activity in youths.”
The sheriff’s office is willing to meet with community leaders to help prevent drug-related deaths, he said.
“We are willing to share our resources to help in these communities,” Kish said.
Anyone wishing to send an anonymous tip about drug-related activities in the county may do so by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-388-TIPS (8477) or visiting www.dentoncountycrimestoppers.com.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .