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Silver Spring man charged after Bethesda minor dies from fentanyl overdose

The 24-year-old faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A Silver Spring man faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, now that he's been charged with fentanyl distribution resulting in the death of a minor.

The criminal complaint has been filed against a 24-year-old named Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalew, also known as “Mick.” Kefyalew lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and, police say that he was in contact with a minor from Bethesda who died in January 2022.

Law enforcement said that they discovered a counterfeit pill that appeared to be 30mg of oxycodone and alleged texts between the victim and Kefyalew, where they discussed meeting for a drug transaction. Police said that the pill was later tested by a forensic chemist and tested positive for fentanyl. In addition, the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the victim’s cause of death was a fentanyl overdose. 

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Court documents revealed that a witness advised law enforcement the victim purchased “percs” from an individual known as “Mick”. The witness also described the “percs” to be small blue pills, which police said matched the pill found at the time of the victim’s death.

In August 2021, Kefyalew was arrested for the possession of over 10 grams of marijuana.  At that time, law enforcement found a small blue pill stamped with the writing “M 30” inside of the bag of weed, which was tested and determined to be fentanyl, as well.

Police also confirm that, as stated in the affidavit, in March 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Kefyalew’s car. As a result, officers found two cell phones, one of which contained multiple messages indicating drug trafficking, including an October 2021 conversation in which an individual told Kefyalew that people using “percs” should get Narcan to prevent overdoses.

If convicted, Kefyalew faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison for distribution of fentanyl resulting in death or serious bodily injury.  

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


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