A Modesto man has been charged with murder for allegedly selling a young man a lethal dose of fentanyl in May.
Anthony Taft Lee, 36, has been in custody since June on charges related to fentanyl sales but was rebooked on Friday in connection with the overdose death of 21-year-old Connor Hoffman.
Hoffman died May 28 after purchasing $10 worth of fentanyl from a man he met on Snapchat, his mother told The Bee last month.
According to a press release, a lengthy investigation tied Lee to the sale.
During his arraignment Friday, Lee pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, as well as possession for sale and sale of fentanyl tied to the death. The prosecutor said he would seek to consolidate the case with the fentanyl sales case Lee was charged with in June.
Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Goold said, “I believe this is the first time we have charged a murder case involving a fentanyl overdose. Filing a case such as this depends on the specific facts discovered by law enforcement.” He declined to elaborate on those facts.
Goold said the the office does not have statistics available on whether others have been charged with murder for overdose deaths involving any other type of drug.
Lee’s bail was set at $2 million.
“Fentanyl has made illicit drug use more dangerous than ever, there is no better time to seek help for a drug addiction problem,” the press release said. “Services are available through Behavioral Health Recovery Services of Stanislaus County.”