A woman accused of selling fentanyl pills to two Colorado Springs high school girls is facing federal charges after a friend of one of the girls snorted a pill the next day and died at her desk, the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Colorado said Wednesday.
Alexis Nicole Wilkins, 26, is suspected of selling fentanyl pills to two girls in a mall parking lot in eastern Colorado Springs in December, court documents show.
The girls brought the drugs to school the next day and shared them with another 15-year-old student who overdosed in her Mitchell High School classroom, the documents state. At the end of class, her teacher found her foaming at the mouth and called 911. She was brought to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The El Paso County Coroner’s Office determined she died of fentanyl intoxication and ruled her death an accident, the autopsy report shows.
Investigators allege Wilkins, a suspected fentanyl dealer, sold two pills to the two students in The Citadel mall parking lot and intentionally distributed a substance that contained a detectable amount of fentanyl, according to court documents.
One of the girls who bought the pills from Wilkins said she had been buying what she believed was Percocet for several months, according to court documents. She also said Wilkins was part of a Colorado Springs-based street gang, called Rolling 60s Crips.
The girl said she messaged Wilkins on Facebook Messenger to buy two Percocet pills for $40. When she picked them up in the mall parking lot, the girl said she noticed they looked different and were “a lighter blue color than normal.”
More in this series
>> Parents of young Coloradans killed by fentanyl call it murder. So why aren’t there more convictions?
>> After teen fentanyl overdoses, moms and community groups step up to hand out testing strips, lifesaving nasal spray
>> How counterfeit drugs made to look like real pills have ravaged one Colorado county
During their investigation, police found several fentanyl transactions Wilkins made through social media. In July, messages show she tried to buy $4,000 worth of fentanyl pills, according to court documents. Wikins said she had a source who sold her fentanyl pills for $5.50 per pill when she bought 700 pills, but wanted something stronger.
Investigators allege Wilkins knew she was not selling pharmaceutical oxycodone pills. One person messaged her asking for “the real blues” and she said she didn’t have “the real ones,” according to court records.
Wilkins appeared in federal court Wednesday. Her attorney did not immediately return a reporter’s request for comment.
Distribution of fentanyl carries a potential penalty of no less than 20 years and up to life in prison, a fine of no more than $1 million and no less than three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The FBI, an El Paso County drug task force, the sheriff’s office and the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office investigated.
At least 102 people died of fentanyl overdoses in El Paso County last year, according to preliminary data from the county coroner’s office. So far this year, more people have died from fentanyl than compared to this time last year, according to county coroner, Dr. Leon Kelly.
The powerful synthetic opioid, known to be 100 times more powerful than morphine, killed people aging from age 1 to 67 last year in El Paso County. It is often sold in pill form and stamped with a pill press to look like a 30-milligram dose of oxycodone.
“Now, our scope of prevention is everything from babies to the elderly, which makes it much, much more difficult to wrangle,” Kelly said.
More young people died of fentanyl than suicide. Two 17-year-old boys, a 15-year-old girl, a 4-year-old boy and a 1-year-old boy are among those who died of deadly fentanyl overdoses in El Paso County, where fentanyl deaths have more than doubled every year since 2017.
“This is something that has the potential to impact every single family in this community,” Kelly said. “Because when we’re talking about kids, you know, middle schoolers and high schoolers, a death in that group has such massive ripple effects.”