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Accused drug dealer faces murder charge after fentanyl overdose

Updated August 3, 2022 - 7:57 pm

Found dead by a housekeeper in a Motel 6 just off the Strip, Jeffrey Burton was slumped in a chair, blood dripping from his head — blood that contained almost four times the lethal limit of fentanyl, a coroner would later determine.

Now, a Las Vegas man accused of selling 35-year-old Burton the pills that killed him is facing several charges including second-degree murder.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Joshua Molina, who dubbed himself “Jigga Josh” of “All In Entertainment” on a business card, sold Burton a baggie of pills that had been “pressed” with the letter M and the number 30 to make the pills appear to be oxycodone.

The officer who wrote the arrest report noted that he has seen over 80 fatal overdoses involving M30 pills containing fentanyl.

Burton, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound man who was described in an arrest report as being in “otherwise good health,” was found dead by a motel maid on March 4. She was “extremely distraught” by the grim discovery, police said.

Burton’s death highlighted the “powerful effects of the fentanyl he ingested the day of his overdose,” the arrest report said.

Police said Burton bought pills from Molina on February 28. Burton was last seen entering his room, 313, at the Motel 6 on Tropicana Avenue just east of the Strip on March 2, two days before his body was found.

After Burton’s death, police executed a search warrant on a Cadillac driven by Molina in late April.

In a backpack and in a drawstring bag, detectives say they found several drugs including a 1,040-gram brick of cocaine, another 118 grams of cocaine in plastic baggies, 73 grams of ecstasy, about 155 grams of the fentanyl-laced blue pills with the letter M embossed on one side and the number 30 on the other, as well as varying amounts of other illicit substances including Adderall, oxycodone, Xanax, MDMA, and over 67 grams of Aspadol Tabs, which are an opioid painkiller.

Molina, whose age was not disclosed, was arrested in June on the murder charge and other counts including drug trafficking and possession.

Burton was determined to have died of fentanyl intoxication.

The Metropolitan Police Department and the Clark County district attorney’s office charged at least nine dealers with second-degree murder in connection with fatal fentanyl overdose since 2020.

Dozens of cases were under investigation, District Attorney Steve Wolfson told the Review-Journal in February.

A week before Burton’s death, 15-year-old Jerion Morgan was found dead in North Las Vegas after a suspected overdose, police said at the time. Police were investigating Morgan’s death as a homicide, but as of Tuesday, no arrests had been made.

On March 5, Sofia Harrara, 16, was found dead in a south Las Vegas condo complex from a suspected fentanyl overdose. Roy Elkhoury, 27, was indicted last month on charges of second-degree murder, possession of a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance, according to court records.

Molina is scheduled to appear in court in October.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com or 561-324-6421. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Sabrina Schnur contributed to this report.

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