TEXAS— Former Los Angeles Angels’ Communications Director Eric Prescott Kay was charged by the Department of Justice in Texas on Friday, August 7 for the conspiracy to distribute fentanyl to the late pitcher, Tyler Skaggs.

Kay, 45, was charged via criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute a mixture containing detectable amounts of fentanyl. He was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton at the Mahon Federal Courthouse Friday morning, according to the release statement.

The initial complaint was filed July 30 detailing the investigation that began July 1, 2019 after Skaggs was reported deceased due to an overdose. Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his hotel room at the Southlake Town Square Hilton. The coroner’s report later identified that he had a mixture of ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system at the time of his death; it was later ascertained that but for the fentanyl, Skaggs would not have died.

Inside Skaggs’ hotel room, investigators discovered a number of pills, including a single blue pill with the markings M/30. After further analysis they discovered the pills to be laced with fentanyl.

Court documents of text messages between Skaggs and Kay the night of Skaggs’ death.

The release states, “In an initial interview with law enforcement, Mr. Kay allegedly denied knowing whether Mr. Skaggs was a drug user. He claimed the last time he’d seen Mr. Skaggs was at hotel check-in on June 30. However, a search of Mr. Skaggs’s phone revealed text messages from June 30 suggesting that he had asked Mr. Kay to stop by his room with pills late that evening.”

Hotel key card records further indicated that Kay’s room, no. 367, was opened at 11:29 P.M., and Skaggs’ room, no. 469, was opened nine minutes later, at 11:38 P.M.

“Tyler Skaggs’ overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wakeup call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in a recorded press conference.  “Suppressing the spread of fentanyl is a priority for the Department of Justice.”

In the course of their investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration determined that Kay allegedly regularly dealt the blue M/30 pills – dubbed “blue boys” – to Skaggs and to others, dolling out the pills at the stadium where they worked. If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in federal prison.