Mother speaks out following man’s arrest for allegedly selling fentanyl that led to son’s death

A mother is speaking out about her son’s death following the arrest of a 36-year-old man who allegedly sold her 19-year-old son the fentanyl that killed him in 2020.

Alvin Linton of Ontario was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of selling fentanyl to Javon Richard, who died from it Nov. 9 2020, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ryan Marcuse.

Richard’s mother Maria Davis, said that her son thought that he was buying Percocet from Linton.

Deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive man at 2:46 p.m. that day in the 6400 block of Wells Springs Street, in Eastvale. Deputies arrived on the scene to find Richard dead. Later investigations determined he died from a fentanyl overdose, according to Marcuse.

“My son didn’t purchase narcotics from that individual, he purchased a pill that he thought was Percocet which is prescription, it’s not a narcotic,” Davis said.

Davis said while many refer to these accidental deaths as an overdose, they are actually homicides.

“They are getting a fake pill, they aren’t the actual prescription pills that they think they are taking,” Davis said. “This is a drug induced homicide which means that somebody gave them a pill that causes death. It’s not considered an overdose, it was a homicide and I think that is a common misconception a lot of people have when dealing with these cases. It was not an overdose death, it was being investigated as a homicide.”

Months of investigation eventually identified Linton as the person who sold the pill to Richard, though how the discovery was made was not disclosed.

Linton was arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of second-degree murder into the Byrd Detention Center, where he remains held on $1 million bail.

“These pills that these young kids are buying, they think they are buying hydrocodone or oxycodone or Xanax or Percocet and what they are actually getting in reality is a fake pill which is not  hydrocodone, oxycodone, Xanax or Percocet,” Davis explained. “These are not actual prescription pills that they think they are taking, these are actually being manufactured in someone’s garage.”

Davis, who said she didn’t talk to the press sooner because she didn’t want to compromise the investigation, said that she hopes her sharing her son’s story, will help raise awareness of the Fentanyl pandemic that government officials announced has killed over 100,000 people in the 12-month period that ended in April.

“These kids are losing their lives over something like this and it’s not right,” Davis said. “No parent should have to lose their child like this and as a parent, you want to advocate for these kids, if we knew about these things we could educate our kids like we do about safe sex and drinking and driving. We don’t educate our kids because we don’t know its a pandemic, we don’t know that there is a problem until you find your child deceased.”

Jail records indicate he will make his initial court appearance Friday.

City News Service contributed to this story.

Kim Harris