Two El Paso Women Sentenced for 19-Year-Old’s Poisoning Death

( – Two women in El Paso, Texas, have been sentenced in connection with the death of a 19-year-old mother from fentanyl poisoning. Court documents state that 32-year-old Kathy Lee Nicole Bradford arranged the sale of the pills to a local woman in April 2022. The codefendant, 40-year-old Patricia Tafoya, delivered the M-30 pills to the customer, who consumed several of the pills that contained fentanyl.

The El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that “acute fentanyl toxicity” caused the death of the mother. Bradford confessed in March that she was aware that the pills contained the narcotic drug. The defendant pleaded guilty to a count of distributing a controlled substance that caused serious bodily injury or death. Bradford received a 168-month prison sentence.

Tafoya also pleaded guilty to a count of conspiring to possess a controlled substance with the intention to distribute. She received a 21-month prison sentence and was also ordered into a drug rehabilitation program. The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Phillip Countryman.

Countryman previously prosecuted a similar case in 2023 relating to a fentanyl pill overdose. The defendant in the case, 28-year-old Patrick Harley Chaires, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for selling a M-30 pill that contained fentanyl. The victim of the overdose was fortunately revived using Naloxone, an anti-opioid nasal spray.

The smuggling of fentanyl plays a major role in the southern border crisis. Seizures of the illicit drug by US Customs and Borders Protection rose by over 860% between 2019 and 2023. The drug poses a grave public health crisis, and kills over 150 Americans daily.

The border cities of Mexico are similarly struggling to contain the opioid epidemic. The strength of the drug, which is 50 times the strength of heroin, poses a challenge to emergency services. Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, however, dismissed the severity of the epidemic, and claimed that Mexico neither produces nor consumes the drug.

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