Alleged Drug Dealer Sammy Valdez Faces Manslaughter Charge After Lafayette Woman Dies From Fentanyl Overdose – CBS Denver
BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A new arrest affidavit confirms a long-term investigation that began in 2020 led to the arrest of a Longmont man accused in the drug overdose death of a woman in Lafayette.
According to the arrest warrant, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office arrested suspect Sammy Lee Valdez, 21, Dec. 23, 2021 in connection with the overdose death of Valetta Kroeger in Lafayette on March 19, 2020.
Kroeger had a deadly overdose on counterfeit Oxycodone pills that tested positive for fentanyl, and Valdez would admit to knowing the illegal drugs he had sold as legitimate to Kroeger’s boyfriend were fake. Kroeger’s boyfriend told investigators the two of them had taken pills before bed the night before her death. When Kroeger’s boyfriend woke up, he says she wasn’t breathing. He performed CPR, had someone call 911, and she was declared dead at the home by responding paramedics.
Kroeger’s boyfriend shared the name of the Snapchat account of his drug dealer, which allowed investigators to identify Valdez as the suspect.
Prior to Valdez’s arrest, undercover investigators performed multiple drug transactions with Valdez, which included the purchase of hundreds of dollars worth of cocaine.
Investigators who were undercover communicated many times with Valdez through Snapchat, which was the social media platform they were able to observe Valdez market his drug sales. On Snapchat, Valdez made it known he was in possession and intending to sell both 30 mg of “press fetty” (slang for pressed fentanyl) and real 30 mg Oxycodone pills.
Valdez also posted pictures of himself in possession of cocaine and guns on Snapchat. Investigators said these types of posts became more frequent closer to his first detainment by law enforcement.
On Oct. 23, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at 110 Main Street, where another arranged drug purchase was made with Valdez by undercover law enforcement for an 8-ball of cocaine. Valdez was searched and then detained. He was found with two bags containing 1.91 grams of cocaine on him as well as his iPhone.
When he was interviewed, Valdez was told he was being investigated for sale of cocaine and an overdose death in Lafayette. Valdez implied he knew what detectives were referring to when they confirmed what time of the year the death happened. He said,” he was just trying to help people have a good time.”
In a second interview on Jan. 4, 2021, accompanied by his attorney, Valdez told investigators the pills that contributed to Kroeger’s death had been bought from his cousin, who had been his supplier until they had a falling out in 2020. Valdez’s cousin was the suspect of a hit-and-run involving Valdez’s truck. During that investigation, a handgun, multiple forms of gun ammunition and magazines were recovered by investigators. A description of the handgun was recognized by an investigator as a weapon Valdez had posted on his Snapchat account.
Valdez also admitted he had been suspicious of the fake Oxycodone laced with fentanyl he says his cousin sold him. When Valdez confronted his cousin on the phone, Valdez told him he didn’t want to be involved with fake pills because, “that’s usually the cause of an OD.”
Still, investigators say Valdez completed the sale of fentanyl laced pills that led to Kroeger’s deadly overdose, even though they say he indicated they were legitimate pills at the time he sold them.
There was no further information in the report that confirmed possible charges Valdez’s cousin might face.
Kroeger’s boyfriend was interviewed by investigators, and they found no cause to file charges against him in her death.
Valdez faces charges for manslaughter, possession with intent to unlawfully distribute or sell a schedule II substance and four counts of unlawful distribution or selling of a schedule II substance.
Thursday, online court information shows, Valdez was previously out of jail on $25,000 bond.