County files homicide charges in Kirkland fentanyl overdose case

Defendant accused of selling blue M30 fentanyl pills to clients after victim died in his apartment.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed their sixth ever controlled substance homicide case on Feb. 14 against John M. Pollet for causing the death of a man at his residence in Kirkland.

The charging documents state that on Sept. 14, 2021, the defendant unlawfully delivered a controlled substance (fentanyl) that resulted in the death of an individual.

According to the charging documents prepared by Kirkland police detectives, the 29-year-old victim died at the defendant’s Kirkland residence due to a fentanyl overdose. Documents also state that the defendant, who was the victim’s drug dealer, sold the victim a fatal dose of fentanyl less than an hour before the death.

“When controlled substance homicide cases are referred, we have to prove several factors beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors have to show direct causation between a drug dealer giving a person drugs, and that a person died after consuming that particular drug — not a drug for another stash or another dealer,” said Casey McNerthney, director of communications for prosecutor’s office.

Detectives obtained a search warrant of the defendant’s cell phone records, which showed text messages between the defendant and the victim, among other contacts.

On Sept. 12, 2021, the victim texted the defendant, “Is 22 cool for a blue?” in which the defendant responded “Yes,” according to the charging documents. The term “blue” refers to blue M30 pills, which contain fentanyl.

On Sept. 14, 2021, text messages displayed to officers show how the pair were coordinating which bus routes were the best to get to the defendant’s home in the 900 block of 6th Street.

According to the documents, the defendant told officers that shortly after the victim arrived at his house, he found him lying face down in the sink, at which point the defendant administered two doses of Naloxene (also known as Narcan) and also administered CPR.

Naloxene may be used when an individual is suspected of overdosing from an opioid, such as fentanyl. It works to reverse the overdose for approximately 30 to 90 minutes, but the strength of certain opioids can require more than one dose.

The defendant told officers he knew the victim had smoked fentanyl due to indications of drug use such as residue and tin foil, according to the documents.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and toxicology report, in which the victim’s death was ruled an accident from acute drug intoxication, including fentanyl. According to the documents, no other drug was found in the victim’s system.

During the Kirkland Police Department investigation, detectives spoke with the victim’s friend, who had introduced the victim to the defendant. Detectives learned the defendant had been selling narcotics for several years and possessed numerous firearms, according to the documents.

On Nov. 10, 2021, KPD arrested the defendant and executed a search warrant of his car and residence. The arrest was based on drug transactions with a confidential informant. Officers found $581 in cash and blue M30 fentanyl pills in the defendant’s pocket, according to the documents. Officers also found four firearms inside the defendant’s residence.

During his interview with investigators, the defendant admitted to selling narcotics and specifically stated that he profited by purchasing large batches of M30 at once, then selling the pills individually at a higher price, according to the documents.

During his interview, he also admitted to selling the victim one blue M30 for $22, minutes before the victim’s death. According to the charging documents, the defendant continued to sell blue M30 fentanyl pills to others after the victim died in his apartment.

KCPAO is requesting the defendant be held on a $100,000 bail due to the likelihood of him committing another violent offense. The defendant’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28.

In King County, fentanyl is most commonly seen in blue, greenish, or pale colored counterfeit pills. Photo courtesy of King County.

In King County, fentanyl is most commonly seen in blue, greenish, or pale colored counterfeit pills. Photo courtesy of King County.