Silver Spring, Maryland Man Faces Federal Charges for Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in the Death of a Minor Victim

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

Greenbelt, Maryland – A criminal complaint has been filed charging Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalew, a/k/a “Mick”, age 24, of Silver Spring, Maryland, with distribution of fentanyl resulting in the death of a minor victim.  The criminal complaint was unsealed upon his arrest on September 16, 2022.  The defendant had his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on September 16, 2022 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ajmel A. Quereshi and was detained pending trial.

The criminal complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Chief T. N. Treschuk of the Rockville City Police Department.

As a result of the death of a Bethesda, Maryland minor victim in January 2022, law enforcement discovered a counterfeit pill that appeared to be 30mg of oxycodone and alleged texts between the victim and Kefyalew.  The pill was later tested by a forensic chemist and tested positive for fentanyl.  Additionally, the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner the victim’s cause of death to be a fentanyl overdose.  A forensic analysis of the victim’s cell phone revealed several alleged conversations between the victim and a contact saved as “Mick.” During the conversations, the victim and Kefyalew discussed meeting for a drug transaction.  

As stated in court documents, a witness advised law enforcement the victim purchased “percs” from an individual known as “Mick”.  The witness also described the “percs” to be small blue pills, which matched the pill found at the time of the victim’s death.

In August 2021, Kefyalew was issued a criminal citation for the possession of over 10 grams of marijuana.  In that case, law enforcement found a small blue pill stamped with the writing “M 30” within the baggie of marijuana located in a vehicle where Kefyalew was seated at the time of his arrest.  The pill was tested and was determined to be fentanyl, as well.

Further, as stated in the affidavit, in March 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Kefyalew’s vehicle.  As a result of the search warrant, officers found two cell phones, one of which contained multiple messages indicative of drug trafficking, including an October 2021 conversation in which an individual told Kefyalew that people using “percs” should get Narcan to prevent overdoses.

If convicted, Kefyalew faces a maximum sentence of life in federal prison for distribution of fentanyl resulting in death or serious bodily injury.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the DEA, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the Rockville Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Metropolitan Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department, and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Wright who is prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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