Courts

Dealer charged in Webb death is a suspect in two more fatal overdoses

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — The 21-year-old man accused of selling the counterfeit pills made of fentanyl that killed Kade Webb last December is being investigated for his role in two more overdose deaths, The Update has learned.

The revelation was recently revealed in court papers written by a sheriff’s investigator in a successful effort by the District Attorney’s Office to hold Schewe without bail.

“SCHEWE is currently being investigated into his connection with three overdose fatalities involving fentanyl related pills,” Task Force Agent Patrick Craven wrote in a declaration. “One of the fatalities occurred on December 3, 2021, in Placer County . . . The other two fatalities involved an associate of SCHEWE’s and SCHEWE’S ex-girlfriend.”

A judge last month denied a motion from Schewe for pretrial release, siding with the state’s contention that Schewe’s alleged sale of fentanyl to Webb constituted “an act of violence” that posed a “conscious disregard for human life.”

“Selling poison to be consumed is not a passive act,” Deputy District Attorney Devan Portillo wrote in his opposition to the motion.

Schewe’s lawyer, Victor Haltom, argued that Schewe’s murder charge was “novel and unique” and did not include the intent to harm or kill.

“It’s unclear how such conduct could plausibly constitute murder,” Haltom wrote. “Indeed, a murder conviction generally requires proof of malice.”

Haltom said his client was a low-level dealer who sold drugs to help fund his own addiction and had been in-and-out of rehab. Haltom declared under penalty of perjury that Schewe was surveilled buying over $600 in pills from a felon on probation out of Sacramento County named Zachary Phelps. Haltom said Schewe likely sold those same pills to Webb.

Phelps was arrested at his residence on November 24, 2021, following a probation search of his residence. Officers found over $100,000 in cash, an unserialized handgun, and large amounts of several drugs. He now faces felony charges of possession with intent to sell Adderall, cocaine, fentanyl, Xanax, and heroin. He has since been released on bail, and a lawyer retained on his behalf didn’t respond to a request for comment.

According to unsealed search warrant affidavits, investigators reviewed Webb’s cell phone after he was found dead in the bathroom of the Safeway on Sierra College Boulevard in Roseville. Webb’s cause of death was later confirmed to be fentanyl intoxication, and a piece of tin foil with burn marks on it was found inside the bathroom’s trash can – an indicator of a smoking method known as “chasing the dragon.”

A review of Webb’s cell phone revealed that he was in communication with a SnapChat dealer known as “bknothadoc” about purchasing drugs. In one conversation, Webb had arranged to purchase 20 Xanax bars and a Percocet pill for $20.

In another conversation, Webb and the dealer went back and forth over Webb’s drug debt. At the end of the conversation, the dealer seemed to acknowledge that the drugs he sold contained fentanyl.

“Btw China white is in the percs u use to snort,” the dealer texted Webb. “China white isn’t [just] heroin, it’s Fentanyl that people use to press percs with lmao.”

A final conversation, saved on the day of Webb’s death, includes an address to an apartment on the same street as the Safeway Webb was found dead in.

Eight days after Webb died, investigators met with his family, who revealed he struggled with addiction to prescription pills. Webb’s father, who found his son surrounded by fire and medical personnel at Safeway after tracking his location through an app, spoke with two of his son’s friends after he died. They theorized that, if Webb died of a drug overdose, he most likely purchased from an associate – Carson Schewe.

One of Webb’s friends, a self-described fentanyl addict, told police the majority of pills sold on the street are pressed with fentanyl. The friend said he and Webb would purchase pills from Schewe at his mother’s building at the Slate Creek Apartments on Sierra College Boulevard.

The friend showed police his phone contact for Schewe. TFO Craven discovered that Schewe had begun sharing his location with the friend in March of 2021, apparently forgetting to turn it off. His phone was pinging at his mother’s apartment.

According to law enforcement records, Schewe overdosed at the apartment in October of 2021 and required medical intervention. On another occasion, Schewe’s mother called the police on him after he got high and began threatening her. Schewe was never arrested, according to court papers, and the incident was “determined to be a noncriminal matter.”

With the new information learned from Webb’s family and friends, investigators successfully applied for a search warrant at Schewe’s mother’s apartment. Agents staked out around the apartment and, at around 3:50 PM on December 21, Schewe came down the stairs from his apartment and was detained. Seven pills in a clear plastic baggie were found on his person.

Agents located 73 “M-30” pills, packaging material, and a scale in the apartment. Schewe was booked in Placer County on a charge of possession of narcotics for sale but was later released as prosecutors continued to review the case.

On the same day he was released, according to more snapchat records, Schewe began to confide in an undercover detective he unknowingly had added on Snapchat about being searched and arrested.

On February 10, 2022, Schewe was arrested after trying to sell counterfeit pills to the same undercover officer. During the deal, Schewe warned the officer to “just take small bumps and then keep going.” Detectives seized over $100,000 and a ghost gun from Schewe.

Schewe remains in custody in Placer County. His lawyer did not return an email seeking comment and previously moved to continue a preliminary hearing scheduled for November 4th.

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