A man accused of supplying a lethal dose of fentanyl to a 19-year-old Eastvale resident was ordered today to stand trial on a second-degree murder charge.
Alvin Barrington Linton Jr., 38, of Ontario, was arrested in 2021 following a yearlong investigation into the death of Javon Richard.
At the end of a preliminary hearing Monday at the Riverside Hall of Justice, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O'Rane found there was sufficient evidence to bind Linton over for trial on the murder count.
The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Nov. 6 and left the defendant's bail set at $1 million.
He's being held at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to sheriff's Sgt. Ryan Marcuse, on the afternoon of Nov. 9, 2020, deputies were called to a home in the 6400 block of Wells Springs Street in Eastvale and discovered Richard dead.
An autopsy ultimately confirmed that he had ingested an undisclosed quantity of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Marcuse said homicide detectives spent the ensuing months trying to identify the party who had supplied the drug, and Linton was allegedly determined to be the seller.
The defendant was arrested Nov. 17, 2021. He has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.
Since February 2021, roughly two dozen individuals countywide have been charged with murder in connection with fentanyl poisonings. In August, the District Attorney's Office won its first second-degree murder conviction against a fentanyl dealer, Vicente David Romero, who provided a fatal dose of the opioid to a 26-year-old Temecula woman in 2020.
He's due for sentencing on Nov. 3.
According to public safety officials, there were 503 confirmed fentanyl-related fatalities countywide last year, compared to just under 400 in 2021, a 200-fold increase from 2016, when there were only two.
Fentanyl is manufactured in overseas labs, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which says the substance is smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border by cartels. Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and can be mixed into any number of street narcotics and prescription drugs, without a user knowing what he or she is consuming. Ingestion of only two milligrams can be fatal.