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New details released on latest federal overdose death case

New details released on latest federal overdose death case

Case is third in the region of a dealer being charged in connection with user's death
New details released on latest federal overdose death case
Photographer: Shutterstock

SCHENECTADY -- A man accused of supplying drugs that caused a local woman's death admitted to investigators he bought her heroin hours before she died, according to a complaint filed in federal court.

Text messages between the man and the woman who died also discussed the hand-off of the drugs, the complaint states.

Daniel J. Fillerup, 34, was charged earlier this month with a federal count of distributing Fentanyl causing death. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Fillerup allegedly provided the drug to the woman, identified by prosecutors only by her initials, K.C., in Schenectady on Sept. 29, 2016. She then overdosed and died, prosecutors have said.

When it became apparent K.C. was in distress from using the drugs, Fillerup brought her to Ellis Hospital, where minutes later, he left. She arrived at 3:51 p.m. Schenectady police found Fillerup later that day, prosecutors said.

The woman's cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia due to Fentanyl intoxication. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid pain medication often mixed with heroin.

The complaint, not available in the case until this week, states the woman sent a text message to Fillerup at 11:44 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2016, saying she was "trying  to find one bag with no success."

Fillerup responded: "I could do that for u but it will be in a couple of hours unfortunately."

At 1:57 p.m., Fillerup texted again: "What u want?"

K.C. responded she wanted "2" and she'd buy Fillerup one. Fillerup responded he'd be to her "in a few."

During an interview with investigators later, apparently FBI agents, Fillerup said the woman gave him money. He bought her two bags of heroin and then five bags for himself. He gave her the two bags in Schenectady, he said.

"Fillerup stated K.C. used one of the bags of heroin and he used all five and fell unconscious," the federal complaint states. 

When he woke up, K.C. was unconscious, he told agents. He did not estimate the time that passed, but the time between the 1:57 p.m. text message and the pair's arrival at the hospital, according to the complaint, was less than two hours.

Fillerup said he started shaking K.C. and yelling her name, but she did not respond. He drove her back to her car, but she still didn't respond, so he took her to the hospital.

He told agents he didn't know for certain the heroin had Fentanyl in it, but he assumes heroin has Fentanyl.

"I did the deal, period," Fillerup allegedly told agents. "[K.C.] contacted me. I got it. We used. We fell out."

Fillerup has been arraigned and ordered held pending trial. He is represented by attorney James Knox. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Fillerup's prosecution follows federal prosecutions in two other Schenectady-connected overdose deaths.

Matthew Charo of Saratoga Springs received 10 years in prison in December for his role in the death of Saratoga Springs resident Katie-Lynn Scheidt. Charo accompanied Scheidt to Schenectady in October 2014 to purchase heroin for her. She later overdosed on the drug and died.

Also, Ronald Showers received 54 months in federal prison last summer for his role in the death of a Schenectady woman. He admitted he put a bundle of heroin in her car. She was found dead the next day with the bundle in her bedroom. A rubber band on the bundle carried traces of Showers' DNA.

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