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Suspected fentanyl dealer charged with murder in overdose death of Texas teen

Zakkary McReynolds, 18, was arrested Tuesday in Denton, Texas, in connection with the fentanyl overdose death of 17-year-old Ryan Erwin.

An 18-year-old alleged fentanyl dealer is being charged with murder in the overdose death of a 17-year-old boy in Texas, authorities said Tuesday.

Ryan Erwin was found unresponsive at a residence in the 7500 block of Barrymore Road in Denton after officers responded to an overdose call on the morning of Sept. 23, the Denton Police Department said.

Erwin was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The teen’s cause of death was from combined fentanyl and diphenhydramine toxicity, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled.

During the investigation into the teen’s death, detectives found evidence that Zakkary McReynolds sold Erwin the fentanyl on the morning of his death, according to police.

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On Tuesday, police, along with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force, arrested McReynolds on a murder warrant in the 700 block of Campbell Lane.

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McReynolds is being held in the City of Denton Jail. 

Police said McReynolds’ arrest in connection to a fentanyl murder is the department’s third since a new state law went into effect in September that made supplying fentanyl that results in death a criminal murder offense.

Publicly available Texas health data for 2023 shows there were 1,511 fentanyl poisoning deaths through September.

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