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Washington State Resident Charged In Two Homicides From Counterfeit Pills

You can learn about other counterfeit drug incidents that have happened in Washington by clicking here

A 28-year-old Washington state man recently pleaded not guilty in Skagit County Superior Court on multiple counts including controlled substance homicide, according to the Skagit Valley Herald. Justin O’Brien Miller stands accused of selling counterfeit Percocet pills that resulted in the deaths of Garrett C. Arendse and Rebecca L. Doyle. Arendse was 18-years-old and died on April 1, 2018, and Doyle was 28-years-old and died on April 6, 2018. The charges against Miller are two counts of controlled substance homicide, creation, delivery, or possession of a counterfeit substance and delivery of fentanyl with a school zone enhancement.

Court documents stated that before midnight on March 31st, Arendse contacted a friend inquiring about a Percocet. That friend reached out to Miller, who allegedly agreed to sell the pills to Arendse. The friend gave Arendse Miller’s mobile phone number and described the apartment building he lived in. The last that the friend heard from Arendse was at 12:15 AM. Arendse stayed at a friend’s house that night where he was pronounced dead later that same day.

Five days later, Doyle was found on the floor of her Clear Lake home by her fiancé, blue and not breathing. Whereas Arendse had just made his first purchase from Miller, Doyle had not. In a May interview with detectives, the fiancé admitted to purchasing pills from Miller since about 2016, and he said 90 percent of the pills he had purchased in the last month were fentanyl pills. After police made two controlled pill purchases from Miller in May, Skagit Valley Herald reported on that initial arrest. In court at that time, deputies from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office stated they believed the pills Miller was selling were counterfeit because of their inconsistent appearance and tendency to crumble. They also believed that there was the possibility that Miller was making the pills himself.

At this time, Miller remains in custody on $500,000 bail.

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