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Woman Charged in Deadly Pasadena Overdoses Pleads Not Guilty; Trial Scheduled

Published on Friday, October 23, 2020 | 10:29 pm

A San Gabriel woman accused of selling what was initially described as fentanyl-laced cocaine to five men who overdosed over the span of a single day in Pasadena last month, two of them fatally, denied a federal charge on Friday, authorities said.

Marisol Bolanos Hernandez, 35, pleaded not guilty to a count of drug distribution resulting in serious bodily injury, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Ciaran McEcoy said.

A trial was scheduled for Dec. 15 before U.S. District Judge Mark C. Scarsi in federal court in Los Angeles, he said.

Investigators arrested Hernandez Sept. 16 following the overdoses, which took place on Sept. 11, according to federal prosecutors and Pasadena police officials.

The five men Hernandez is formally accused of providing drugs to were among a total of seven reported in Pasadena on that day, officials said at the time. The two additional overdose victims, who both died, had not been officially linked to Hernandez’s case.

The results of lab test results on the drugs were not available Friday. However, police initially said they suspected the drug was cocaine laced with fentanyl.

The indictment filed against Hernandez describes the drug as “a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.”

The victims reported they thought they had bought cocaine, police said. But several of them were revived with the use of the anti-overdose medication naloxone, which is effective on opioids, but not stimulants such as cocaine, according to police and prosecutors.

Hernandez was linked to the deaths through evidence including phone records and statements of the survivors, according to federal prosecutors.

If convicted as charged, Hernandez would face between 20 years and life in federal prison.

See also:

Woman Accused of Selling Drugs to 5 Pasadena Overdose Victims, Including 2 Who Died

Police Still Investigating Multiple Overdoses, Fourth Victim Dies

7 Suspected Fentanyl Overdoses in Pasadena Leave 3 Dead, 1 in Grave Condition

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