A High Desert mother whose son recently died from fentanyl poisoning is pleading with parents to talk to their kids about black market pills and how they could be laced with the potentially deadly opioid fentanyl.
"Sometimes it feels like it's unreal and when I look at his picture I realize my son is never going to walk through the door, to mess around with me or joke or give me a hug," Drina Smith said.
Earlier this month, Smith lost her son Victor Aguilar. He was only 20 years old, and the youngest of her five children.
"This tragedy happened in my home, underneath my nose, and if people don't think it can happen to them, they are sadly mistaken," she said.
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Smith says in October, her son and his girlfriend bought what they thought were two prescription pain pills from a friend of a friend.
Soon after taking one, Smith said her son became violently ill.
"We found him just in time. My husband performed CPR on him," Smith said.
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She said doctors told her the pill appears to have been laced with fentanyl.
It's a powerful synthetic opioid that law enforcement officials say is often found in illegal pills that are sold on the black market.
Nineteen days after taking one pill Smith says her son died at the hospital.
"All because of a stupid choice -- a stupid pill," she said.
Hundreds of people in California are dying every year from fentanyl poisoning, which is why just last week, Orange County DA Todd Spitzer announced a new policy that allows drug dealers to be charged with murder if they are connected to a fentanyl death.
"I'm not going to let drug dealers get away with murder," he said.
Riverside County's DA already began the policy earlier this year, and the San Bernardino County DA is working on a similar one.
"The person who sold my son this drug is still out selling," Smith said.
Smith says investigators are building a case against the man who allegedly sold her son the pills, so she is hoping for an arrest. She also wants other counties to get tougher on drug dealers.
"Every drug dealer should know that we are coming after them and that's it. Enough of killing our kids," she said.