Late last August, following the drowning of a Marshall County boy at Kentucky Dam Marina, local officials announced the arrests of two alleged drug dealers, and linked the case to pills believed to contain fentanyl or fentanyl derivatives.
Sheriff Eddie McGuire called the drug “a killer on the streets,” and said two other children linked to the case were believed to have overdosed on the drug.
Stoney Hendrickson and Nathaniel Erickson were both charged with trafficking in carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives.
But forensic tests of hundreds of pills turned up no evidence of fentanyl, according to court documents, leading prosecutors to reexamine the charges against the two men.
A coroner announced in October that Brandon Martinez, 14, who drowned in the marina, only tested positive for some level of THC in his system, and that neither alcohol nor fentanyl were present.
Toxicology reports for the two other teens believed to have overdosed — neither of whom died — were not available.
But 20 pills alleged to have been found in Hendrickson’s possession, and about 700 pills deputies said they found in Erickson’s possession, tested positive for only one substance — alprazolam, known more commonly by the brand name Xanax.
In an affidavit attached to a warrant, Marshall County Sheriff’s Detective Jody Cash said he responded to the drowning Aug. 25, and found two other juvenile males unconscious at the marina.
Cash said one juvenile told him that he had taken a pill appearing to be Xanax, but “abnormally thick,” and that Hendrickson had provided the pills he and the others had consumed.
Cash wrote in the warrant that, after he found approximately 20 pills matching that description, Hendrickson named Erickson as the source of the pills, and Erickson was also arrested.
In addition to the two juveniles Cash said were found unconscious, he described in another affidavit speaking with multiple other juveniles, some of whom had suffered effects consistent with drug overdoses.
One warrant indicated that Hendrickson “knew (the pills) to contain fentanyl.”
But in an agreed order in Hendrickson’s file, attorneys agreed to amend his bond considering the lab report had been returned and showed no fentanyl in the pills.
Erickson’s attorney, Jeff Edwards, said the report also applied to the pills his client was accused of possessing.
Erickson and Hendrickson are both scheduled to appear in Marshall County Circuit Court next on May 12.