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21-year-old becomes first person convicted of murder in a fentanyl death in California

A 21-year-old man is the first person in the state of California to be convicted of murder in a fentanyl death. 

The Placer County District Attorney says that Nathaniel Cabacungan was found guilty of second-degree murder for supplying a Roseville teen with the deadly drug. 

Cabacungan is set to be sentenced in august. 

This conviction was part of a plea agreement, not a jury trial verdict.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin issued a statement to News Channel 3:

“The fentanyl epidemic is not an issue in just one county, it is a national epidemic. Our office stands united with Placer County DA’s Office in our pursuit to hold accountable those responsible for peddling the poison of fentanyl to our community members. Today’s guilty plea by Placer County DA’s Office serves as a powerful testament to a statewide commitment of safeguarding our residents to the devastating effects of this deadly fentanyl crisis. Together, we will continue to fight tirelessly to protect our citizens and bring justice to the victims of fentanyl poisoning. “ - Mike Hestrin, Riverside County District Attorney

Between January and February of 2023, there have been 68 fentanyl-related deaths in Riverside County. Last year, that number was 505.

As of June 2023, there were 23 active fentanyl-related homicide cases in Riverside County.  

We have continued our extensive coverage on the Fentanyl Crisis here at home and around the state and the efforts to combat it -- including pushes to hold drug dealers accountable. 

I-Team investigator Karen Devine recently investigated local efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis in the Coachella Valley. Hear from Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin and State Assemblymember Greg Wallis, as well as a parent who lost their child, in her special report, "Fatal Flaw."

Be the first to know when news breaks in Coachella Valley. Download the News Channel 3 app here.

Article Topic Follows: Fentanyl Crisis

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