WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Fayetteville woman was arrested Aug. 25 for allegedly trafficking fentanyl that potentially led to an overdose death.
According to the Fayetteville Police Department’s Drug Task Force, on July 6, a detective was conducting surveillance regarding suspected criminal activity at a hotel located at 1075 South Shiloh in Fayetteville.
The detective identified a vehicle occupied by two people, one of whom had outstanding warrants for their arrest.
The detective made contact and arrested the person with outstanding warrants.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Christy Rene Cawood, 37, who admitted she had fentanyl concealed in the vehicle. A probable cause search was conducted, and detectives seized the drugs.
Police obtained around 4.6 grams of fentanyl and 0.7 milliliters of fentanyl solution in a syringe, as well as a digital scale.
According to the police report, Cawood was not arrested at the time.
Later, on Aug. 25, an officer from the Springdale Police Department responded to an address for an overdose death investigation. The victim, a male assumed to be in his 40s, had reportedly overdosed after injecting something with a syringe. He was found deceased by family members.
The officer called drug task force detectives for assistance.
The victim was found clutching a used syringe in his hand, lying face down on the floor.
During the course of the investigation, officers located a substance that tested positive for fentanyl.
The victim’s father told officers that the victim had shared that Cawood was his fentanyl dealer, according to the police report. The father said his son was a recovering opiate addict and had just recently returned from an out-of-state rehabilitation program.
The father provided footage from a Ring doorbell camera of a truck arriving the night before. He said he believed it was Cawood.
Police were granted access to the victim’s phone and listened to a series of phone calls between the victim and Cawood from the previous night.
Detectives knew where Cawood lived and went to her residence.
The police report says that detectives interviewed Cawood and she noted the victim was a good friend of hers. When asked when she last saw him, she said it was over a month ago. She told detectives it had been around one month since she had sold him fentanyl.
After informing Cawood of the victim’s death, she insisted that she did not give him any fentanyl, and that her cell phones would prove it.
She said the day before, she had gone to Tulsa to pick up several grams of fentanyl, and that her source was “the cartel.”
Cawood told police that she had stopped in Siloam Springs to deliver more than a gram to someone before going home. She said that she has spoken to that person and that they were still alive.
She told police that she was a user, and that in order to get treatment for her addiction, her doctor told her to use fentanyl while taking medications to curb her opiate addiction.
She claimed that the fentanyl she had brought back from Tulsa had “hit different.”
Cawood admitted that she had three grams of fentanyl in her truck and additional fentanyl in her bedroom.
She insisted that police retrieve her phones from the truck. When an officer went to retrieve them, they observed a methamphetamine smoking pipe in plain view. Detectives also found multiple baggies of fentanyl with a total weight of 9.3 grams.
Cawood’s daughter was in the back of her truck when they made contact with her.
Cawood told police that they could read her messages on her phone, which included information about her trip to Tulsa and her intent to provide the victim with fentanyl.
The messages also included information about a plot to plant fentanyl, or some other dangerous drug, on someone else so they could tip off police and cause the person to be arrested so that Cawood’s pending charges would be cleared.
Cawood justified the plot to police, saying that the person she intended to set up had also been responsible for overdose deaths.
The police report also notes that Cawood was using credit card information belonging to the victim’s parents without their knowledge.
On the scene, detectives made contact with Cawood’s father. During a search of the residence, two children were found in a bedroom standing around one foot away from what police describe as a “shot glass” filled with a white powder.
The white powder was later confirmed to be fentanyl. Cawood stated that she shared the bedroom with the children.
“The children could have very easily been exposed to the substance the way it was casually left unsecured and within their reach,” the report said.
For this case, Cawood was arrested for aggravated death by delivery, trafficking fentanyl, possession of a schedule I substance with purpose to deliver, possession of a schedule II with purpose to deliver, possession of a schedule III substance with purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, proximity to certain facilities and two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.
Police obtained around 9.4 grams of fentanyl, 69 ecstasy tablets, one amphetamine pill, 15 suboxone strips, a digital scale, two meth pipes and multiple syringes.
Additionally, the police report says that officers obtained statements from the victim’s family and camera footage from a Ring doorbell.
Cawood was arrested at the same time for additional counts of trafficking fentanyl and possession of drug paraphernalia from the July 6 incident.
Cawood was released on Aug. 30 on a $25,000 bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 22.