Bakersfield Police: Woman arrested after baby suffers fentanyl overdose

Second recent child case of fentanyl overdose
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 01:46:59-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police Department says they arrested a 23-year-old woman Friday afternoon after a nine-month-old baby suffered an overdose from fentanyl.

This is the second case of a fentanyl overdose involving a young child in the past two weeks.

BPD received a report of a baby who was not breathing at about 2:58 p.m. in the 800 block of Lake Street, said police. Officers found the unresponsive baby and discovered the baby was suffering from a fentanyl overdose after being taken to a local hospital, said police.
The baby was revived and is in stable condition in the custody of Child Protective Services, said BPD.

After getting a search warrant police found fentanyl and narcotics paraphernalia, said BPD. Gabriela Cruz, 23, of Bakersfield, was arrested on suspicion of felony child cruelty, possession of a controlled substance for sales and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call BPD at 661-327-7111.

The Kern County District Attorney's Office tells 23ABC they're continuing to review two cases involving fentanyl exposure in young children earlier this month. We checked in with Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Pafford for an update.

The first case happened on January 15, both parents were arrested after a one-year-old was found unresponsive due to narcotics paraphernalia. They could face several charges, but have since posted bail.

Pafford saying typically bail for this offense is set at $20,000, but is decided by the courts.

The second case happened just six days later with a Bakersfield woman arrested for endangering a nine-month old. The 23-year old is also looking at charges.

Pafford says CA Penal Code 273 Section A applies to cases like these. It describes child endangerment as purposefully exposing a child to unjustified pain, suffering, or danger.

According to SHouse California Law Group, a person can be charged for exposing a child to unreasonable risk of harm, even if the child never physically suffers.

But - punishment depends on whether risk to the child includes death or serious bodily injury. According to the criminal defense group, if there is no possibility of either, the offense is a California misdemeanor crime. Penalties can include up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

If the minor was at risk of death or great bodily injury, the offense may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony at the prosecutor’s discretion.

If charged as a felony, this can include punishment of two, four, or six years in California State Prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.