LOS ANGELES (KRON) – A Los Angeles Angels employee admitted to the Drug Enforcement Administration that he provided oxycodone to pitcher Tyler Skaggs, reports ESPN’s T.J. Quinn.
The pair had been abusing oxycodone for years and that team officials were told about this situation long before Skaggs passing.
Eric Kay, the Angels’ director of communications, gave federal agents the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates.
Skaggs was found dead at the Angels’ team hotel in Texas on July 1.
According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, the cause of death is listed as a mixture of “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.” Meaning Skaggs choked on his own vomit while under the influence.
The report lists his death as an accident.
The Skaggs family released a statement shortly after the autopsy was released to the public.
“We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death. We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”
Agents learned during the investigation, Kay and Skaggs had exchanged oxycodone transactions after reviewing text messages between the two.
Quinn explains in his report, Kay had witnessed Skaggs drug addiction hours before his passing.
Kay told DEA investigators that hours before Skaggs’ death in July, Skaggs was in his Southlake Hilton hotel room and texted Kay to visit him, according to a source familiar with what Kay told the DEA. Kay also told investigators that Skaggs snorted three lines of crushed opioids in front of him, the sources said.
According to Quinn, Kay told agents he would obtain the drugs for the two and Skaggs would pay. Finances showed the pitcher made a series of payments ranging from $150 to $600, over the span of two years.
Kay could face criminal charges as he admitted to supplying Skaggs with oxycodone.
The MLB does not test for opioids, but rules demand that any team official who learns a player is using drugs must report it to the Commissioner’s Office.
According to Quinn, the Angels’ never alerted the MLB about Skaggs’ drug abuse.