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Cellphone data connected man to teen's overdose death

The 15-year-old boy died in July from fentanyl intoxication, an arrest affidavit says.

LOVELAND, Colo. — A 30-year-old man had been distributing illegal drugs for weeks to a Loveland teenager prior to that teen's death from fentanyl intoxication in July of last year, an arrest affidavit says.

An arrest warrant was issued for Samuel Strait on Dec. 29, 2022, and he was taken into custody on the following charges:

  • Distribution of fentanyl causing death
  • Distribution to a minor

Officers from the Loveland Police Department responded around 7:45 a.m. on July 21 to a medical call in the 1300 block of North Washington Avenue and were told that a 15-year-old boy was found unresponsive and not breathing.

>The video above is a prior report about fentanyl in Colorado.

They learned from family members that the teen had been known to use fentanyl and other drugs but had recently passed a drug test, the affidavit says.

Investigators later searched the teen's phone and found a contact they believed supplied drugs to the victim.

The night before the teen was found dead there were several text messages between that contact and the teen including one message where the contact wrote, "I got 15 or 16 for 2."

There were also 16 phone calls between the teen and the contact, the affidavit says. The last call was at 11:13 p.m. on July 20. About seven minutes later, the teen photographed three blue bills that appeared to be sitting on the bed where the teen was found dead the next morning, the affidavit says.

Credit: LCSO
Samuel Strait

Investigators contacted the cell phone carrier for the suspected drug dealer and were able to link Strait to the phone number that had been texting the victim.

Data from the phone indicated that Strait appeared to have been selling illegal drugs to the teen since at least late May of last year.

Strait is next due in court on Jan. 17.

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