DENVER – One of the suspects charged in connection with the deadly 2020 fire that killed five members of a Senegalese family in Green Valley Ranch faces new charges tied to allegedly possessing and distributing pills with suspected fentanyl in jail.
Kevin Bui, now 18, was set to be arraigned in the Green Valley Ranch case in which he faces 60 counts, including first-degree murder and arson, for the deaths of five people -- Djibril and Adja Diol, their 2-year-old daughter Khadija, Hassan Diol and her infant daughter, Hawa Baye – during the Aug. 5, 2020, house fire on North Truckee Street.
He and another man, Gavin Seymour, were both charged as adults in the case despite them being teenagers at the time of the fire.
But the arraignment on Thursday lasted only about five minutes, as it was continued until July 28 over a “new development” that the court heard was a “surprise” to both prosecutors and the defense involving a new case.
Prosecutors had said they were ready to proceed and for Bui to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in the case, and said they had discussed tentative plea deals with Bui’s defense counsel.
Court records show that new development involves Bui being arrested on June 4 at the Denver Detention Center on charges including possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, felony contraband possession, tampering with physical evidence – destroy evidence, and possession of greater than four grams of a controlled substance.
A probable cause statement for Bui’s arrest says Denver Sheriff Department deputies were investigating an overdose around 6 p.m. on June 4 inside the jail.
The eight-man cell where the overdose occurred was searched. According to the probable cause statement, written by a Denver police officer, deputies found a blue baggie inside Bui’s sock. A subsequent search turned up another baggie that fell out of his pants, according to the probable cause statement.
The baggies were tucked inside of blue gloves, according to the statement. Inside each baggie, deputies found 46 blue pills marked “M-30” containing suspected fentanyl as many of the counterfeit M-30s do, according to the probable cause statement.
Court records show Bui had a second advisement in the drug case on June 14 and that he has a preliminary hearing in that case set for Aug. 8.
In the arson and murder case, court records show the arraignment was reset for July 28 and that there is a status review hearing set for July 11.
Bui’s case proceeded when a judge in January rejected his and Seymour’s request to send the case back to juvenile court. Police believe Bui, Seymour and a third teen who faces juvenile charges mistook the house they are accused of burning down for a different house.
They say the teenagers were responding to the robbery of a cell phone taken during a drug deal Bui was involved in weeks prior to the arson. According to documents, when Bui pinged the stolen phone, the Truckee Street address showed up as its location and the boys went there to retaliate.
Bui’s older sister, Tanya Bui, pleaded guilty in February to federal drug and gun possession charges. Police found out during the arson investigation that Kevin Bui was allegedly helping her traffic drugs.
They found communications with them detailing how Kevin would help Tanya distribute fentanyl pills and marijuana through social media and over the phone.
Tanya Bui is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court of Colorado next Friday, July 15. Her defense counsel is asking for a lesser sentence than was suggested in the presentencing report.
Denver7's Colette Bordelon contributed to this report.