California father arrested after toddler overdoses on fentanyl

A father was arrested after his 2-year-old child overdosed on his own supply of fentanyl, police said. 

Merced Police officers arrested Marvin Thomas, 34, for felony child endangerment. 

On December 18, officers responded to Mercy Medical Center after a 2-year-old child tested positive for fentanyl. Police said the parents transported the child to the emergency room after he experienced life-threatening symptoms.

With medical treatments, the child’s condition improved throughout the hours. The child is expected to make a full recovery. 

According to detectives, the father brought fentanyl-laced marijuana products into the home and the child experienced an exposure.

Detectives removed the substance from the home. 

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has seen a sharp rise this year in overdoses involving fentanyl. The DEA is also warning people of the dangers of rainbow fentanyl, a multi-colored pill that tends to attract kids and teens. It has already been blamed for deaths involving children. 

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid approved for treating severe pain with a prescription. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, making it effective in pain relief but also more likely to cause overdose if misused. Fentanyl-related overdose and death are frequently linked with illegally made and sold fentanyl that are often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Merced Police Detective Lupian at (209) 385-6905 or by email at