Trial Starts for Newport Beach Bar Security Manager Who Was Charged in Fatal Fentanyl Overdose and Maintains His Innocence

Six years ago, a 48-year-old security manager for a Newport Beach bar called American Junkie dealt fentanyl to three patrons.

His actions led to one person fatally overdosing and two other overdoses. 25-year-old Ahmed Said of Santa Ana died on November 18, 2016, after ingesting the drug.

Sean Robert McLaughlin is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death and serious bodily injury.

McLaughlin claims that an unnamed “mystery man caused the deaths.” During the trial, McLaughlin’s attorney says that the mystery man’s culpability will be uncovered as the person who dealt the fentanyl. According to his attorney, the man went into the bathroom with the four overdose victims.

Other charges for McLaughlin include one count of distribution of cocaine and four counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and hydrocodone.

When police checked McLaughlin’s locker at work, they found a veritable “pharmacy of drugs,” ready to be sold to customers. But searches of his locker and home revealed no fentanyl. Investigators also found that he did web searches on “how to cut cocaine,” which increased the drug’s potency.


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