Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that's responsible for taking the lives of many people in Colorado. Just this week, five adults were sadly found dead together in Westminster due to fentanyl overdoses.

On September 26, 2017, a Fort Collins man distributed fentanyl that resulted in the death of another individual. When police and emergency medical services responded to the Fort Collins home, they found a deceased man on the floor. Next to him was a syringe, a spoon containing liquid, what appeared to be a partially dissolved blue pill, and another full pill. Based on the report, the full blue pill resembled a prescription oxycodone pill and bore an “M” and “30.” The investigation revealed that the man died from “acute fentanyl toxicity.”

A laboratory analysis of the two blue pills found at the scene determined that despite their imprints, color, and shape, they were actually pure fentanyl, not oxycodone.

Law enforcement identified Fort Collins resident Ernesto Ibarra Jr. as the individual that sold the pills to the man. Conversations from Facebook confirmed that Ibarra Jr. had sold the man prescription opioids several times in the days leading up to his death. This included the transaction for the lethal fentanyl pills the day before the man was found deceased.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, 45-year-old Ernesto Ibarra Jr. has now been put behind bars for his actions. On February 18, 2022, United States District Court Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer sentenced Ibarra to 175 months in federal prison. Following his term of incarceration, the defendant will have three years of supervised release.

Ibarra also admitted to dealing pills to a second man who died of a fentanyl overdose approximately two days after buying pills from him. In this case, however, the evidence was not sufficient enough to prove Ibarra was responsible.

The fatal opioid can be found in pills, pure powders, and is sometimes unknowingly mixed into other drugs like cocaine and heroin. Fentanyl can also be disguised to appear like another prescription drug, which was the case in this situation. Because it's impossible to determine if a drug contains fentanyl just by its look, smell, or taste, it's important to always test before you consume. This article explains how to do so in Colorado.

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