A Palm Desert woman accused of selling fentanyl that led to a man's death was charged with one count of murder.
Tiffany Ellen Wright, 39, was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the death of Cameron Bridges, 32. Bridges was found unresponsive in the 46000 block of Ryway Place.
District Attorney Mike Hestrin told News Channel 3 that fentanyl poisoning is a growing problem in Riverside County.
Loved ones told News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao that Bridges said he took a pill for pain relief, following a recent dental procedure. Wright is accused of selling the pills to Bridges, knowing they contained fentanyl at the time. Those pills ultimately killed him.
“What we're alleging is that they sold or furnished fentanyl that they knew it was fentanyl that they understood the dangers and the dangers to human life of this activity. And they chose to do it anyway,” said Hestrin.
“He reached out looking for something other than what he was prescribed. This person is somebody that he trusted, this was a friend,” Rawlings said.
Bridges’s family said he was not an addict. Hestrin said Bridges did not die of an overdose, and that unintentional fentanyl deaths are growing more common.
“What's really, so different about fentanyl, it's the process of overdose, it's not really overdose anymore," Hestrin added, "It's not a long process that involves addiction and using the drug routinely. It's happening a lot on the first time or the first second time that someone is taking one of these pills and death is occurring.”
Wright was originally scheduled to be arraigned in court Thursday afternoon, however, it was rescheduled to May 10 in order for the court to conduct a Conflict Check.
Wright remains in custody on $1 Million bail.
tay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on this case.
Fentanyl is known to be 80-100 times more potent than morphine and is a popular additive, seamlessly mixed into any number of narcotics and pharmaceuticals.
"As a reminder, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind citizens of the dangers of illicit narcotics many which may contain Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than morphine and can cause death or serious bodily harm."
Fentanyl is manufactured in China and smuggled across the Mexican border, according to Sheriff Chad Bianco.
Late last year, Riverside County District Attorney Hestrin told News Channel 3 that fentanyl deaths are up by more than 800% in the last five years in the county.
According to Riverside County, there were at least 386 unintentional fentanyl deaths throughout 2021 in the county. That’s up by more than 100 deaths from the year before.
Hestrin also noted that the DEA estimates that 40% of counterfeit pills on the street contain a fatal dose of fentanyl.
As of January 31, there have been 17 fentanyl overdose deaths in 2022.
In January of this year, Riverside County law enforcement officials joined a state lawmaker and families of victims "poisoned'' by fentanyl, calling on the public to support legislative and other efforts aimed at stemming the "tide and scourge'' of the deadly synthetic drug.
Recently, a man who sold his daughter the fentanyl-laced pill was arrested and faces federal charges.
In November, the parents of a 15-month-old who died of a fentanyl overdose were arrested on suspicion of murder.