A New Mexico mother allegedly used her kids to transport fentanyl to their father in Texas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas.
According to court documents, Magdalena Silva Banuelos, 46, hid fentanyl in her children's luggage before they traveled to Dallas to visit their father on May 31. Surveillance video shows the father picking up the boys, 8 and 10, going through their luggage and entering the airport restroom. He overdosed and died in the bathroom.
Investigators found a Clinique makeup container with more than a gram of fentanyl inside.
Banuelos has been charged with a distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death, a federal crime.
"I feel for these children. To lose one parent due to the actions of the other is a calamity for a child," U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said in a statement. "This defendant allegedly concealed fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin — in her own minor sons' luggage. This drug has stolen too many futures and ruined too many lives. The Justice Department remains determined to hold accountable those who spread it."
"The actions of Ms. Banuelos risked the lives of her minor children by concealing a highly potent drug in their luggage during a flight from Albuquerque to Dallas," said W. Guy Baker of the Drug Enforcement Administration Dallas Field Division.
Investigators also recovered text messages between Banuelos and her boyfriend, suggesting she knew he had planned to take the fentanyl:
"Hey you need to be careful," she wrote a few hours before he died.
"Yes ma'am. Very slow and easy," he replied.
"Just one and then wait you'll see," she said. "Just one."
"Ok cool. Thank you. Will do," he said.
"No passing out on the kitchen floor," she responded. "Seriously you could od. No dying on the kitchen floor... It's going to f**k you up!!!"
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