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Federal prosecutors said the Angels' communications director took fentanyl-laced pills to Tyler Skaggs' hotel room on the day he died of a drug overdose. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Federal prosecutors said the Angels’ communications director took fentanyl-laced pills to Tyler Skaggs’ hotel room on the day he died of a drug overdose. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI |
Aug. 7 (UPI) — Authorities in Texas arrested a former Los Angeles Angels employee, accusing him of providing the fentanyl that led to pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ overdose death last year, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Eric Kay, 45, appeared in a Fort Worth federal courthouse Friday morning after his arrest on one count of conspiracy to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of fentanyl

Skaggs died July 1 at the age of 27 after being found unconscious in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room. The Angels were in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a game against the Texas Rangers.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Skaggs died from an accidental overdose of opioids and alcohol. Tests revealed that Skaggs had 38 nanograms per milliliter of oxycodone and 3.8 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl, a painkiller that is significantly stronger than oxycodone, in his system. It also showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.122 percent. A 0.08 limit is considered legally impaired.

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criminal complaint filed July 30 said text messages on Skaggs’ phone indicated he asked Kay to bring fentanyl pills to his hotel room. Prosecutors said Kay also admitted to a colleague that he had visited Skaggs’ room on the day of his death.

The complaint said Kay regularly dealt what was described as “blue boys,” opioid pills laced with fentanyl.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose — coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career — should be a wakeup call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said. “Suppressing the spread of fentanyl is a priority for the Department of Justice.”