Boulder man charged with manslaughter in fentanyl death

Posted at 3:55 PM, Jun 06, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. – A man in Boulder is facing manslaughter charges after allegedly selling fentanyl to someone who later died of an overdose, a spokesperson with the Boulder District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Terrelle Lucero, 25, was charged June 1 with possession, possession with intent to distribute, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, two special drug offender charges, introduction of contraband, driving under restraint, as well as manslaughter, a charge that can be added in Colorado if a person “recklessly causes the death of another person.”

The charges stem from the fatal overdose of a person on April 25, according to the DA’s office.

Lucero was arrested by law enforcement officers on May 26, after police tracked him to a gas station near the intersection of Manhattan Circle and S. Boulder Road where a drug deal was set to take place.

Per an arrest affidavit in the case, Lucero agreed to meet with someone else for 80 “blues” – the street name for fentanyl pills – for $800. The Boulder County Drug Task Force, which had been investigating the fentanyl death, took the suspect into custody as he waited to make the transaction in front of the gas station. During the interrogation at the scene, Lucero told police he was planning to rob the person he was supposed to meet.

Once at the jail, the suspect was strip searched and small baggies of drugs were found on his person, the affidavit states. In total, Lucero was carrying 8.8 grams of acetaminophen pills laced with fentanyl and .59 grams of what the suspect called “benzos,” which law enforcement said were Benzodiazepines, depressants used to relieve stress and anxiety and to help people sleep.

As part of the booking process, Lucero was interviewed and a background check was performed, which found the suspect had two prior felony convictions – one for dangerous drugs in 2014 and another on the same year for flight/escape. He was booked in Boulder County Jail.

The DA’s office noted that because the victim died before the passing of a new Colorado law that includes stiffer penalties for the distribution of fentanyl, Lucero faces a presumptive sentence of four to 12 years in state prison for manslaughter.

If the death had occurred after the passing of HB22-1326, Lucero would be looking at eight to 32 years in state prison for allegedly causing the person’s death. The DA’s office did note, however, that Lucero could still serve that time due to the special drug offender charge.

Lucero, who is now out on bond, has a preliminary hearing on June 23.