Felon accused of providing fatal dose of fentanyl to Temecula man arrested

MURRIETA – A convicted felon accused of supplying a deadly dose of fentanyl to a 30-year-old Temecula man was arrested today.
Quinn Aaron McKellips is charged with second-degree murder for the 2020 death of Calin Sender.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Liebrand, on the afternoon of Jan. 17, 2020, deputies and paramedics were called to the victim’s residence in the 44000 block of Festivo Street to investigate reports of an unconscious man.
Paramedics pronounced Sender dead at the scene.
“Deputies located several M30 pills and Xanax bars in Sender’s bedroom,” Liebrand said, adding that an autopsy soon confirmed that the victim “died as a result of fentanyl poisoning.”
“In November 2022, the investigation was assumed by the sheriff’s Overdose Investigations & Narcotics Unit,” the sergeant said. “The M30 pills in Sender’s bedroom were sent for testing, and the results were positive for fentanyl. Over the next several months, investigators worked to identify the person responsible for selling the fentanyl that killed Sender.”
Liebrand alleged McKellips was confirmed to be the seller. How the
defendant and victim knew one another was not disclosed.
The case was submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for review, culminating in the filing of a criminal complaint on Tuesday. A warrant was then issued for the defendant’s arrest, and he was taken into custody without incident early Friday afternoon in the 29300 block of Cavalry Circle in Winchester.
According to court records, McKellips has prior convictions for possession of controlled substances for sale, being a narcotic addict in possession of a gun, transportation of controlled substances for sale and domestic violence.
Since February 2021, roughly two dozen individuals countywide have been charged with murder in connection with fentanyl poisonings. Last month, county prosecutors won their first second-degree murder conviction against a fentanyl dealer, Vicente David Romero, who provided a fatal dose of the synthetic opioid to a 26-year-old Temecula woman in 2020.
Romero is due for sentencing on Oct. 6.
According to public safety officials, there were 503 confirmed fentanyl-related fatalities countywide last year, compared to just under 400 in 2021, a 200-fold increase from 2016, when there were only two.
Fentanyl is manufactured in overseas labs, principally in China, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which says the synthetic opioid is smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border by cartels. The drug is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and can be mixed into any number of street
narcotics and prescription drugs, without a user knowing what he or she is consuming. Ingestion of only two milligrams can be fatal.
Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans between 18 and 45 years old.

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