Former Angels Employee Indicted for Distributing Fentanyl in Overdose Death of Tyler Skaggs

Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, shown on the mound last year, was found dead in his Texas hotel room on July 1, 2019. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Former Angels employee Eric Kay has been charged by federal authorities in Texas with distributing fentanyl in connection with the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

An affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Kay filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth said the longtime member of the Angels’ media relations department and Skaggs had a “history of narcotic transactions” and that Kay would “distribute these pills to [Skaggs] and others in their place of employment and while they were working.”

Kay, 45, was arrested and made his first court appearance Friday at the Mahon Federal Courthouse in Fort Worth. They also unsealed the complaint against him that had been filed last week.

Tyler Skaggs’ death, coming as it did in the midst of an ascendant baseball career, should be a wake-up call,” Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said during a news conference Friday. “It should prove to his many, many fans that no one is immune from the deadly addictive nature of these drugs, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet.”

Nealy Cox said the federal investigation remains “open and active.”

Skaggs, 27, died in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room on July 1, 2019, hours before the Angels were to play the Texas Rangers. He was discovered on his bed, fully clothed, with no signs of trauma.

A toxicology report by the Tarrant County medical examiner found the opioids fentanyl and oxycodone in his system. The medical examiner listed the cause of death as “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” meaning he choked on his vomit.

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SOURCE: LA Times, Nathan Fenno