‘Guaranteed poison:’ Orlando woman charged after investigation into overdose death

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County deputies have arrested a woman accused of causing a 19-year-old man’s death by knowingly selling him a lethal combination of drugs disguised as prescription pills.


The investigation into 21-year-old Elena Falzone began on Sept. 16, 2023, when an Orange County Sheriff’s Office homicide detective responded to the victim’s home for a death investigation due to a suspected overdose.

In the victim’s bedroom, investigators say they were able to find pills designed to look like the prescription medication Xanax that were later found to contain a synthetic drug with no legitimate purpose, known as Bromazolam.

READ: Melbourne police identify man on scooter found shot to death

According to the sheriff’s office, Bromazolam is a potentially fatal, addictive compound that has been attributed to or associated with several overdose deaths worldwide.

Orange County deputies say they also found a dash camera inside the victim’s car that captured video from the previous day showing the entire transaction with Falzone, during which she warned him to only take half of the pills at a time due to the high concentration of another drug.

Later that same night, investigators say the victim bought what he thought were Percocet pills from Falzone that were later revealed to contain fentanyl.

According to the sheriff’s office, just hours after consuming some of the pills, the victim was found unresponsive on his bedroom floor. Multiple doses of Narcan had no effect, and he died at a local hospital the next morning.

The Orange County Medical Examiner concluded that the victim died as a result of “combined toxicity of fentanyl and Bromazolam.” Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigators noted the mixture of the two drugs creates a “highly lethal” combination.

Investigators used cell phone records and bank statements to further identify Falzone as the victim’s supplier. Deputies say they were also able to conduct two successful undercover buys from Falzone, during which they purchased Xanax bars and Percocet pills similar in packaging to the drugs acquired by the victim.

According to the sheriff’s office, the pills the agents bought from Falzone were also found to contain fentanyl and Bromazolam.

READ: 74-year-old woman found alive, breathing at funeral home after being declared dead

Orlando police arrested Falzone on drug charges in January. Two days later, an OCSO homicide investigator interviewed her about the fatal overdose, at which point she confessed to operating an illicit drug-selling channel through a phone application.

Deputies say Falzone admitted to selling the victim Xanax and Percocet and that she was aware that the pills contained fentanyl and Bromazolam.

Investigators say they also provided Falzone with a phone conversation during which she told her own “supplier” that she was aware that mixing opiates and benzodiazepines was essentially “guaranteed poison.”

Deputies say Falzone attempted to skirt responsibility for the overdose by claiming her supplier should be held responsible for the death. However, investigators noted Falzone’s supplier had already been incarcerated for weeks by the time the deal with the victim took place.

According to the sheriff’s office, Falzone went on to admit that she deleted messages between her and the victim in an attempt to distance herself from the death.

Deputies say Falzone eventually agreed that she played a role in the death but claimed she should not be held responsible because she “was just trying to be a good friend.”

After the interview, Falzone remained in the Orange County jail on drug charges from the Orlando Police Department until she was released on bond.

READ: Florida High School Athletic Association approves NIL compensation for student-athletes

Orange County deputies later secured a warrant charging her with death caused by the unlawful distribution of fentanyl, tampering with evidence, and other drug distribution charges.

Investigators say they also learned that Falzone’s method of selling drugs was to meet her customers at an intersection close to where she lived, which was found to be within 1,000 feet of an elementary school and an assisted living facility, leading to additional charges.

Falzone is being held in the Orange County jail on no bond.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Comments on this article