A Renton man has been charged with controlled substances homicide after a woman to whom he sold fentanyl-laced drugs overdosed and died last June, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Treven Blake Lane, 31, was arrested last week, almost a year after the 26-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment, Bellevue police said in a statement Monday. According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ariel LaBaw died from acute combined drug intoxication, including fentanyl and alcohol.
“These are challenging cases to prove, but our detectives are meticulous and determined,” Bellevue Assistant Police Chief Wendell Shirley said in the statement. “They were able to connect the drugs that killed the victim to the alleged dealer and show that he knew they were not legitimate prescription drugs, despite telling the victim they were.”
Lane and LaBaw met last June through a mutual acquaintance, prosecutors said. According to texts sent between the two, Lane agreed to sell her five pills. After LaBaw took one-and-a-half of them — which the medical examiner’s office confirmed were fentanyl — she overdosed and died.
When police arrived at her apartment, they found two clear plastic bags next to her, one filled with small, blue pills and the other with small, orange-pink pills, according to a police report. Lab results at the time showed the blue pills — imprinted with “M30,” a marking found on oxycodone hydrochloride pain medication — found next to her bed actually contained fentanyl, not oxycodone.
After LaBaw died, police continued to investigate Lane and set up an operation where a cooperating witness — an acquaintance of Lane and LaBaw — bought pills from him. According to texts between those two, Lane acknowledged that he couldn’t make any guarantees about the quality of the pills and that they might contain fentanyl, prosecutors said.
He was arrested shortly after selling the witness 10 blue pills, police said.
LaBaw’s obituary describes her as an athletic, kind and driven person who grew up in King County, graduated from Bellevue College and was pursuing a public health degree at Central Washington University. She coached middle school girl’s basketball, loved music and dancing and attended several churches in the area throughout her life, according to her obituary.
Lane’s bail has been set at $500,000 and he remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon. It was not clear from court records which attorney is representing him.
Lane is the second person in Bellevue who’s been charged with substance abuse homicide this year, as officials are seeing an “alarming increase” in fentanyl in the community, police said this week.
As of June this year, police have counted eight fentanyl-related deaths, while last year they saw eight total. In the past five years, King County has seen nearly a 650% increase in fentanyl-related deaths, police added.
Lane’s arraignment is scheduled for June 28 at the King County Courthouse.