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Twenty-Three-Year-Old Charged in Connection With Fentanyl Overdose Death

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Gaithersburg, MD - On Monday, January 17, 2022, Montgomery County Police and Rockville City Police officers responded to an address in the 6100 block of Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesda, MD.  Inside the residence, a 16-year-old male was discovered deceased. 

Inside the residence, investigators located evidence that indicated that the victim may have suffered a fatal overdose on counterfeit Percocet pills.  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.

In announcing this arrest, Montgomery County Chief of Police Marcus Jones stated, “This case is another tragic example of the harms that can occur with counterfeit pills containing Fentanyl.  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.”

Additionally, Chief Victor Brito of the Rockville Police Department stated, "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.  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."

The Rockville City Police Department assigns detectives to the Montgomery County Police 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. 

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

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Release ID: 22-203
Media Contact: S.D. Goff 
Categories: drug-investigation