LOS GATOS, Calif. - A San Jose man has been convicted of selling fentanyl-laced pills to high school students.
Simon Armendariz, also known as Risky, will spend the next 12 years behind bars.
Authorities said Armendariz was selling fentanyl-laced pills to students at Los Gatos High School and one of them, a 15-year-old girl, overdosed. She was later revived with Narcan.
"The rumor was that Risky's drugs were very strong, potent. So the children were carrying around Narcan as a life-saving measure if there was overdose," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Eunice Lee.
Prosecutors said Armendariz would hang out by the high school before first period or deliver to the parking lot of a nearby church. They want his conviction to send a message.
"To those thinking about selling, stay away from our community. Do not target our children," Lee said.
County officials say the fentanyl crisis needs to be addressed.
A task force has spent the last two years on outreach: getting narcan in libraries and schools, asking young people to make videos, and trying to educate parents.
"We want to make sure that every parent has every tool they need to be able to protect themselves and their families," says Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
Geralyn Maul-Vasquez had never heard of fentanyl before her son Jacob died from it in Gilroy back in 2020.
He took a pill labeled xanax that turned out to be fentanyl-laced.
"And I became angry that this was something I had never heard of. And most of these parents I reached out to had the same issue: found their children dead in their beds, and they had never heard of it either," said Maul-Vasquez.
She says families need to be warned and that cases like Armendariz's should be a wake-up call.
"We have to educate our young people, so they don't lose their most precious thing, their life and devastate the families the way our family has been devastated," said Maul-Vasquez.