Silver Spring Man Charged in Connection with Fentanyl Overdose Death

Montgomery County Police say they have arrested 23-year-old Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalew of Silver Spring in connection with a fatal fentanyl overdose of a Bethesda teen that occurred in January.

According to an MCPD news release, Montgomery County Police and Rockville City Police officers responded on January 22 to an address in the 6100 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesda. Inside the residence, a 16-year-old male was discovered deceased.

MCPD said that Rockville Police assigns detectives to the county’s Special Investigations Division (SID) who assist with narcotics investigations inside of the City of Rockville, but also as part of a greater Montgomery County task force.

“Inside the residence, investigators located evidence that indicated that the victim may have suffered a fatal overdose on counterfeit Percocet pills,” MCPD said in the news release. “This suspicion was confirmed after an autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be Fentanyl intoxication. Additionally, suspected counterfeit pills discovered in the victim’s room tested positive as Fentanyl.

“During the subsequent investigation, detectives identified 23-year-old Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalew of Piney Branch, as the individual who sold the pills to the victim. Kefyalew was arrested on April 14, 2022, and charged with one count of Distribution of a Narcotic. Additional charges may be forthcoming as this investigation continues.”

NBC Washington reported Friday that Kefyalew allegedly used his Twitter account to reach potential buyers.

“This case is another tragic example of the harms that can occur with counterfeit pills containing Fentanyl,” MCPD chief Marcus Jones said in a statement. “These pills add another deadly layer to the opiate crisis facing our communities. Individuals, including young people, take a drug they believe to have minimal harm, but end up taking a substance that is extremely deadly,” said Jones. “It’s critical for the community to understand that these pills, even for a first-time user, can be deadly. This arrest is part of my committed efforts to focus investigative resources toward those who take advantage of our community by selling and providing these deadly substances. I thank Chief Victor Brito of the Rockville City Police Department, and our other partners, for being part of this effort with us.”

“Thanks to the continued exemplary partnership with the Montgomery County Police Department, both Rockville and Montgomery County Detectives were able to bring about a successful conclusion to this tragic case,” said Rockville Police chief Victor Brito. “One life lost to opioids is too many, and it is not a problem we will solve overnight, but we will continue to work together to combat this crisis.”

Kefyalew is being held at the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit, where he is awaiting a bond hearing.

Photo: © Sherry Young / Adobe Stock

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