An ex-employee of the Los Angeles Angels has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with the July 1, 2019 overdose death of Angels’ starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Skaggs was 27 years old at the time of his death.

Eric Kay made his first appearance in a Texas federal court on Friday after being arrested in Fort Worth earlier this week. Kay is the former communications director of the Los Angeles Angels.

Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room by a teammate on July 1, 2019. At the time of his death, the Angels had been in the Dallas area for a four-game series with the Texas Rangers. The first game of the series was postponed.

Skaggs died of a fentanyl overdose the night before the series was scheduled to begin. An autopsy concluded that Skaggs had choked on his own vomit, and found a mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone in his system. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 at the time of his death, and was legally intoxicated. Opioids are banned by MLB.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Kay provided Skaggs and other members of the Angels with fentanyl, a painkiller that is lethal in heavy dosages, to help with routine aches and pains.

Kay faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Featured photo courtesy of Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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