CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A 12-year-old boy is dead from a fentanyl overdose. The boy’s mother, Alexis Lee Smith, and the boy’s grandmother Kellie Smith are in custody after the death of Alexis’ son Brent Sulivan. The New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department and police have investigated the grandmother who admitted to knowing her grandson was ingesting fentanyl.
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“We received the call at 12:32 p.m. yesterday, it came in as a 9 year old unresponsive and in the backyard is how it came out and ultimately it ended up being a 12-year-old,” said Assistance Police Chief Jamie Balencia.
In the arrest affidavit, Kellie and Alexis admitted to police about knowing of Brent’s fentanyl use. Kellie told police Brent had overdosed before and that she never called authorities. Carlsbad Police say both the mom and grandmother were selling fentanyl and that Brent was stealing from their stash.
The DEA is seeing a spike in fentanyl use in southeast New Mexico and people don’t know how dangerous it truly is. “Fentanyl is very potent and is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine,” said DEA Public Informations Officer Carlos Briano.
Police arrested Kellie in July of last year when authorities found three of her other grandchildren living in filth including an eight-year-old who tested positive for meth. While she still is facing drug charges from that incident, she was given time served for the condition her grandchildren were found in.
The district attorney’s office says they were not familiar with that case from last year but it saddens them to see something like this happen.
“Obviously we can all say that a child should not have died, and we can all find a way that this cannot happen in the future but it seems like in New Mexico we are seeing that a lot about our children. It’s very sad,” said Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce
Both Alexis and Kellie will be back in court on Thursday to review the conditions of release.
KRQE News 13 reached out to CYFD which was investigating the incident with Kellie last year and to see if they were investigating Alexis and sent the following statement Wednesday night:
CYFD confirms the tragic death of 12 year-old a boy. While the child was not in CYFD custody at the time of his tragic passing, CYFD takes very seriously any child fatality. Presently, our focus is to support law enforcement with this investigation.CYFD spokesperson Charlie Moore-Pabst
CYFD will conduct a thorough investigation. By law, we cannot provide further details about this incident until the investigation is complete. That said, under new leadership, CYFD will always strive to protect and improve child well-being in the state of New Mexico.
News 13 also called Judge Jane Shuler-Gray to ask about the time served sentence for the children living in filth and testing positive for meth but did not hear back from her office.