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Last of three adults sentenced to prison for Colorado 16-year-old's fentanyl death

A 59-year-old Colorado Springs woman, Marlene McGuire, was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in federal prison for her role in the death of a 16-year-old boy who ingested fentanyl-laced pills. She is the last of three adults - including the boy's mother - to be put behind bars. 

That boy's mother, Maria Cecilia Davis-Conchie, 49, was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison. She pleaded guilty to providing drugs to her son and his friends prior to his death. Court documents show that Davis-Conchie introduced to her son to McGuire and 54-year-old Douglas Floyd, her drug dealers.

Floyd also received a 10-year prison sentence last year.

Marlene McGuire (left), Douglas Floyd (center) and Maria Cecelia Davis-Conchie following their arrests in February 2022.  Colorado Springs Police Department

The 16-year-old was identified as Jameson Burkey by a family member who wished to remain anonymous. Burkey was found unconscious in a bedroom by other family members the morning January 31, 2022. According to court documents, Burkey's father broke through the locked bedroom door with a prybar and performed CPR on his son until paramedics arrived.

The previous day, Burkey and three friends drove to meet Floyd outside a Colorado Springs fire station. There, Burkey got out of the car and purchased four blue pills from Floyd for $40, according to court documents. The three boys smoked one of the pills that night. Burkey went home with the remaining three pills. 

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After Burkey's death, investigators found paraphernalia used for smoking pills on and around Burkey's body, court documents stated, and signs that he had used them. They also found a baggie in his dresser containing two blue pills stamped with "M30." Those pills were a cocktail of illicit drugs, as testing by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory proved. Both contained para-fluorofentanyl, an synthetic opioid. One also contained fentanyl (a synthetic opioid), lidocaine (an anesthetic) and xylazine (a tranquilizer). 

Later, Burkey's friends would tell investigators that Burkey believed he was purchasing Percocet from Floyd. 

Those friends also described how Burkey's mother, Davis-Conchie, provided drugs for the three boys throughout the previous year. "Cece," as she was informally known, sold Xanax to them with "cautionary instructions to not use too many of the pills at one time," as statement in Davis-Conchie's plea agreement. 

To celebrate New Year's Eve a month before her son's death, Davis-Conchie provided her son and his friends with Xanax and LSD. Davis-Conchie told investigators she thought LSD was a "safe" drug for the boys and brought them along to purchase the drugs from McGuire near a Colorado Springs fire station, as stated in the plea agreement.

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Following Burkey's death, Colorado Springs Police Department investigators obtained cell phone evidence of drug transactions between the boys and the three adults, according to court documents.

Indeed, text messages showed McGuire "did six deals with (Burkey) and his friends" in the two weeks leading up to Burkey's passing.

Burkey died of fentanyl toxicity, according to a coroner's report.   

Investigators, after concluding that drugs which killed Burkey were obtained from McGuire and Floyd, raided the couple's Colorado Springs home. They found methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl hidden throughout the house. 

Additional cell phone evidence showed extensive drug dealing activity by McGuire leading back to 2020. She had been released from state prison the year prior after a drug conviction and was still on parole.

In asking for a severe sentence for McGuire, federal prosecutors wrote that she "opted to make drug dealing her primary occupation. She was savvy and committed. ... Everyone knows adults should not deal drugs to kids, but the defendant chose to anyway. And she chose to repeatedly deal them one of the deadliest drugs which has ever been sold in the United States, only stopping after she killed one of them."

In a press release announcing McGuire's 30-year sentence, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Cole Finegan stated, "Fentanyl again has ended the life of someone far too soon, and it is infuriating that an adult contributed so strongly to a young person's untimely death."

Davis-Conchie is currently being held at Aliveville FCI facility in northern Alabama.

Online court records show McGuire still has an active case in El Paso County. In it, she is charged with 179 counts including organized crime, racketeering and money laundering. The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has not indicated whether it intends to further pursue this case against McGuire in light of Thursday's federal sentencing. 

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A memorial service was held for Burkey at a Colorado Springs church on February 18, 2022. 

"There is nothing worse than what we do today - bury a child," a pastor stated during the ceremony. "Today is a tragedy. No one should have to say good-bye to someone who is 16 years old."  

Burkey passed away three days after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report about the increase in fentanyl-related deaths nationally.  

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