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Colorado couple charged in toddler’s fentanyl death

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BRIGHTON, Colo. >> A Colorado couple face felony charges in connection with the fentanyl death of their 1-year-old child, whom prosecutors say died after ingesting enough of the extremely lethal drug to kill an adult.

Alonzo Montoya, 31, and Nicole Casias, 30, of the Denver suburb of Brighton were charged with child abuse resulting in death and distribution of a controlled substance in connection with the girl’s death on Jan. 2, the 17th Judicial District’s Office said in a statement Thursday.

It said the Adams County Coroner had determined that the child died after ingesting fentanyl and that Montoya and Casias “participated in illicit drug activity” in the child’s presence at home before and after her death.

Montoya was being held on $250,000 bail at the Adams County Jail. Bail was set at $100,000 for Casias. A status hearing for both was set for Monday.

Telephone and email messages seeking comment from Casias’ attorney, Rachel Lanzen, were not immediately returned. Montoya was being represented by the public defender’s office, which doesn’t comment on pending cases.

Court records that would provide details on the accusations weren’t immediately available from the county district court. Christopher Hopper, a district attorney’s spokesman, said he could not provide additional information.

Fentanyl is an unpredictable and powerful synthetic painkiller blamed for driving an increase in fatal drug overdoses. It’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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