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A 21-year-old San Diego man has been charged with distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of a 15-year-old Coronado High School student.

Kaylar Junior Tawan Beltranlap was indicted by a San Diego federal grand jury on Dec. 15 and entered a plea of not guilty following his arrest last week, according to court records.

Few details were released about the May 12 death of the sophomore, identified in court records only by the initials C.J.S. Authorities also did not elaborate on the role Beltranlap is alleged to have played.

A judge denied him the chance to be released on bail after prosecutors argued he was a danger to the community and a flight risk.

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The prosecution is part of a ramped up effort to hold drug dealers accountable in deadly overdoses, particularly when there is evidence that the dealer knew an overdose was likely. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration created Narcotics Task Force Team 10, which includes several partner agencies, to respond to overdose deaths in the county. Coronado police also contributed to this investigation.

Many of these cases hinge on text or social media messages as evidence of the drug transaction and knowledge of the drug’s dangerousness.

It was not known what form of fentanyl was involved in the case. Fentanyl, which is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, is often disguised as prescription pills, notably blue oxycodone tablets, or mixed into other street drugs such as cocaine.

“Our community must recognize the threat to middle and high school students from the plague of fentanyl,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement Tuesday. “This case must be a call to action to educate our children about the extreme danger of experimenting with drugs.”

The DEA has launched an education campaign, “One Pill Can Kill,” about fentanyl and how the synthetic opioid has inundated the illicit drug market.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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