VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Volusia County 17-year-old was arrested last week after another teen died from a fentanyl overdose earlier this year, according to the sheriff’s office.
An affidavit states that on July 30, deputies responded to a home in DeLand over reports from the family living there that their son had been found dead in his bedroom.
According to investigators, the 17-year-old son’s body was found on his bed, and white powder was found on his cell phone near his feet. That powder ultimately tested positive for fentanyl, detectives added.
“In our deceased’s own words, ‘That was some powerful (expletive). Warn me next time,’” Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said on Monday. “Well, there was no next time. He’s dead.”
Using the cell phone, investigators eventually discovered that the son had been messaging 17-year-old Daniel Arvizo to purchase cocaine, the affidavit shows.
Arvizo was arrested on July 31 on several drug-related charges, though deputies weren’t able to bring charges related to the victim’s death at that point in time, Chitwood explained.
Chitwood said Arvizo went on to keep selling drugs even after the arrest, and investigators discovered he was also connected to an incident in early July where he provided a laced vape pen to a DeLand high student who had a medical episode after smoking it.
“He supplies it all: Adderall, weed — you name it, he supplies it,” Chitwood said. “And unfortunately, we have a 17-year-old dead because of it.”
However, detectives said they were able to use cell phone data, local surveillance footage and a witness to determine that Arvizo and the victim met up on the night of July 29 near a convenience store on Spring Garden Avenue.
The medical examiner announced on Aug. 18 that the victim’s cause of death was fentanyl poisoning, and another arrest warrant for Arvizo was later issued, the affidavit says.
Arvizo was taken into custody on Sept. 29 and faces a charge of negligent manslaughter.
“While you can’t charge a juvenile with first-degree murder based on a drug overdose, you can charge them with manslaughter,” State Attorney RJ Larizza said.
Chitwood also called for school guardians on Volusia campuses to be allowed to carry Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
“We’re seeing fentanyl everywhere,” Chitwood said. “This arrest proves it. They’re classmates. They know who to ring up, and they know who’s supplying what.”
In a news conference on Monday, both Chitwood and Larizza discussed other recent cases of minors engaging in firearm-related and drug-related crimes.
“I just want folks out there to know that your kids are doing things that could ruin the rest of their lives and also ruin the lives of other kids,” Larizza said. “So please, parents, make it a point to be involved in what your kids are doing. Make it a point to check and see what they’re bringing to school.”
News 6 asked Larizza whether Arvizo could be charged as an adult. Larizza replied that it is a course of action his office is still looking into.
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