Odessa man arrested after 16-year-old dies of Fentanyl poisoning
Local law enforcement, local organizations and state representative Brooks Landgraf reacted to the first arrest with House Bill 6 in effect.
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - On Oct. 2, 2023, a 16-year-old Odessan died of Fentanyl poisoning. Nearly a month later on Oct. 8, 2023, officers with the Odessa Police Department arrested 18-year-old Nathaniel Martinez for murder.
After the child’s death, investigators found that Martinez was actively engaged in dealing large quantities of Fentanyl pills in Odessa and Ector County. OPD believes that Martinez sold the fatal dose of Fentanyl to the victim.
Martinez is charged with the Murder-Manufacture/Delivery Controlled Substance Causing Death, a Felony of the 1st Degree.
According to the City of Odessa, this murder is the first one of its kind for the City of Odessa since the Texas House Bill 6 went into effect September 01, 2023.
HB6 was co-authored by Rep. Brooks Landgraf and creates a criminal offense in the Murder statute for those who choose to sell Fentanyl unlawfully in the State of Texas.
Even though this is a big win for them, law enforcement and state representatives believe they still have a long way to go before things get any better.
“We are not afraid to charge this charge. We’re not afraid to go after the people who are peddling this stuff.” said Captain of Special Operations Bureau at the Odessa Police Department.
Martinez was charged after OPD determined that he was involved in selling fentanyl that caused the death of a 16-year-old boy.
Although this new law will help fight the war against drugs, for representative Landgraf it still feels like a loss.
“You know the message I have to anybody whether you’re 18 or 88 years old, is don’t push this poison. Because if you do, your life is going to be destroyed, in addition to the lives that you are destroying.” said Brooks Landgraf, State Representative, Odessa, District 81.
The 1:11 Project works to help educate people across West Texas about the dangers of fentanyl and the consequences it brings.
They sent CBS7 a statement saying quote, Everyone in our group has lost a loved one, almost lost a loved one or lus us and supports our mission.
Now, if you give someone fentanyl and they die, it is a murder charge. It is law. There is really no easy way to put it. Put the drugs down. Just put the drugs down.
Captain Sikes said the investigation is near completion and they’re close to sending it to the Ector County District Attorney.
Martinez is still in jail and his bond is still set at $100,000.
“We’re tired of seeing people die because of fentanyl. All of us carry narcan in our pocket because it has happened at such a high rate, that we felt helpless.” said Captain Sikes.
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