Fentanyl Overdose Yields Arrest for Manslaughter

NEWS RELEASE 18-178 - NOVEMBER 1, 2018
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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office charged a Sarasota woman with Manslaughter after investigation revealed she provided fentanyl to a woman who suffered a fatal overdose.
 
Deputies first responded to 607 Garden Road in Venice on September 4 after receiving a 911 call for an overdose in which the victim, 42-year-old Kacie Tipp, later died. Through investigation, detectives learned Tipp and her acquaintance contacted Tiffany Johnson, DOB 11/27/76, earlier in the day to purchase cocaine. The two women met Johnson who took them to a home on Banneker Way in Sarasota. Johnson entered the home and returned with a brown powdery substance that appeared to be heroin. Tipp and her acquaintance both consumed the drugs.
 
Later the same day, detectives working in an undercover capacity contacted Johnson to purchase the same substance. Johnson sold detectives $80 worth of the drug which was later examined by the agency’s drug lab and determined to be a mixture of heroin and fentanyl.
 
Detectives sped up the investigation and on September 5, executed a search warrant at 2141 Banneker Way, the home of 43-year-old Joseph Wright. A search revealed more than 46 grams of heroin, 30 grams of fentanyl, 4 grams of cocaine, a .45 caliber handgun and ammunition. Wright was arrested along with Johnson and another associate, 38-year-old Reginald McKenzie. At the time, Johnson was only charged with Sale of Fentanyl.
 
While Johnson was in custody, detectives received the results of Tipp’s autopsy which revealed she died as the result of intoxication by fentanyl, morphine, cocaine and methamphetamine. On Wednesday, detectives charged Johnson with an additional count of Sale of Fentanyl as well as a single count of Manslaughter. Johnson remains in custody today on $100,000 bond.
 
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.