Murder charges brought in case of fentanyl overdose

In Kay County District Court, two individuals from Ponca City are facing charges of first-degree murder, distributing fentanyl, and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder by distributing fentanyl.

Alesha Erin Sroufe, 35, and James Logan Waters, 38, both from Ponca City, have been charged with the offenses related to the death of 40-year-old Benjamin Waters due to an overdose. The charges were filed on November 16th.

On September 27th, authorities received a call about a fatality resulting from a fentanyl overdose at the 300 block of south Flormable. Kay County deputies promptly responded to the report.

According to officials, Waters’ family has informed them that he had been grappling with addiction and acquiring fentanyl from Sroufe.

Authorities discovered that James Waters had accompanied Benjamin on the evening of the drug overdose.

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According to reports, James had a conversation with officials, revealing that he and Benjamin had spent the day together. James disclosed that Benjamin had been consuming fentanyl pills. Later that evening, Benjamin apparently requested James to go to a trailer park and obtain pills for him. James explained that he wanted to assist Benjamin with his withdrawals, so he complied and acquired the pills, ultimately aiding him with his final dose.

James reported that he fell asleep around midnight and woke up at 7:30 a.m., discovering Benjamin still in bed. He attempted to rouse him but received no response, prompting him to call for assistance.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner quickly arrived at the scene.

During the investigation, officials discovered two NARCAN spray vials, pill breakers, small pliers, and foil.

At 5 p.m., an inmate at the Ponca City Jail requested to speak with officers regarding the case.

According to reports, he claimed that he was approached by a man and a woman who were interested in selling a phone. They requested him to dispose of the phone so that they could sell it at the ECOATM located at the Dollar General store.

ECOATM was contacted by the police to recover the phone. In addition, they also received a dealer report containing details about the seller of the phone, along with a photo.

On October 13th, the police obtained Facebook warrants for Sroufe and James Waters. Consequently, the police discovered messages between the two individuals engaging in the sale and purchase of pills.

Waters has been held in the county jail since December 8th, with a bond set at $250,000.

Sroufe has not faced any arrests at the moment. Her criminal history involves charges of conspiracy to commit drug offenses in 2009 and knowingly concealing stolen property in 2010. She was convicted in both cases and received a five-year deferred sentence.

Two cases of child neglect were filed against her in 2020 and 2021. On May 11, 2023, she was convicted of the charges, and the sentencing was pending the outcome of drug court. Her bond is set at $250,000. If you have any information on her whereabouts, please contact law enforcement.

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