Man charged with manslaughter in overdose death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man awaiting trial on drug charges, including trafficking in fentanyl, is now also charged with manslaughter in an overdose death, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Marcellus Swangin, 19, was arrested in October and found to be in possession of 71 grams of fentanyl, 4 grams of cocaine and 10 oxycodone pills, according to the arrest report.

In the arrest report, JSO narcotics detectives say Swangin sold fentanyl and oxycodone to a man in August, and the man was found dead by his mother less than two hours later. The medical examiner ruled the death an overdose.

The man’s phone was seized as evidence, and police said they found a series of texts between him and Swangin about meeting for a drug transaction. That conversation was less than two hours before the man was found dead, the report shows.

Torriano Alvores said he remembers the day in August when his neighbor overdosed.

“About two hours before he was washing his car, and he was with his little girl,” Alvores said. “I left and then came home and that’s when I saw all the people there and I didn’t know until later he had passed away.”

News4JAX is not revealing the identity of the victim as we haven’t spoken with the family.

“He was a good guy,” Alvores said. “He seemed to be very helpful with people. Everybody here knew him.”

“He was trying to get clean because of his little girl. He sure was. Me and him had had that discussion,” he added.

According to the State Attorney’s Office, there have been 148 cases initiated because of overdoses over the past five years, resulting in 66 convictions with the other 82 cases pending. Twenty-six of the convictions were for homicide, while the others are for manslaughter.

Sentences range from five to 30 years in prison.

Sheriff T.K. Waters recently revealed that in 2021, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office investigated a “mind-boggling” 409 overdose deaths. A year later, that number jumped to 470.

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