Riverside man arrested for selling fentanyl-laced pills that led to student's death

Acetaminophen / oxycodone 325 mg / 5 mg at the new Kaiser Permanente office and pharmacy in Castle Rock, Colorado, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Joe Amon, The Denver Post (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A Riverside man was arrested for allegedly selling counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, which led to the fatal overdose of a college student.

Brandon Michael McDowell, 22, was arrested Friday morning and was charged with one count of distributing fentanyl resulting in death.

According to the Department of Justice, McDowell allegedly distributed fentanyl in the form of counterfeit oxycodone M30 pills in December of 2019. 

Officials say the 19-year-old victim died at her Temecula home after ingesting the drug. Investigators believe she crushed at least one pill and snorted it shortly before overdosing. 

Investigators say she ordered the pill from McDowell via Snapchat.

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

"This is another incredibly sad case that demonstrates the deadly threat of fentanyl that is now seen in a wide array of drugs sold on the street," said United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. "My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate fatal overdose cases to identify and bring to justice every individual involved in the trafficking of fentanyl."

A fentanyl distribution charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a maximum possible sentence of life without parole.

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.