LOJ Exclusive: Government Updates Charges Against Former Angels Communications Director Eric Kay to Include Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone to Angels Players
Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ former communications director, who is currently being tried on multiple Federal Drug Charges, had his charges updated to include Conspiracy to Distribute Oxycodone to players. Kay is once again attempting to delay his trial and, has provided no evidence in connection with the case against him, according to recent Court filings in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Jury selection for the trial is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Monday, November 8, 2021 with updated instructions being provided by the government to prospective jurors.
On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the U.S. Government’s case against Kay included filing a superseding indictment which included an updated addition of oxycodone, a severe pain killer which the government argues was a substantial factor and cause of death for former Angels’ player Tyler Skaggs.
Kay allegedly distributed oxycodone to players within the organization after obtaining them from dealers on the Offerup marketplace, per Court filings. The pills were termed “blue boys”, and allegedly given to numerous players by Kay beginning as far back as 2017, according to the updated charges. Kay allegedly offered team memorabilia and tickets as an incentive.
The government plans to introduce evidence of Kay’s suppliers at trial to prove a larger drug conspiracy charge, accusing the former communications director of running a drug operation from within the MLB organization.
“Under the Speedy Trial Act, Eric Kay is not entitled to a 30-day continuance, and his motion does not put forth a basis for one,” the government stated in opposition to Kay’s request to delay the trial.
A two-count indictment was returned in this case on October 15, 2020. Count One charged Kay with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, specifically identifying fentanyl as a controlled substance being delivered, and Count Two charged Kay with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance, fentanyl, resulting in death.
The superseding indictment adds oxycodone to count one in addition to fentanyl. This trial has been continued several times, and this is the second opposed continuance filed by Kay.
The government was unpersuaded by Kay’s delay tactic, stating, “Notably, the defendant has produced no discovery to the government in this case.” Kay faces felony distribution charges in connection to the drug-related death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs on July 1, 2019.
Kay has told federal agents he repeatedly provided oxycodone to Skaggs, who was found dead in his Southlake, Texas, hotel room after asphyxiating on his vomit. An autopsy found he had ingested oxycodone, fentanyl and grain alcohol, and the death was ruled accidental. Prosecutors have said that without the fentanyl, a potentially fatal synthetic opioid sometimes found in counterfeit drugs, Skaggs would not have died.
Prosecutors also said in a court filing that investigators found traces of opioids with fentanyl in Kay’s desk at Angel Stadium in December 2019, five months after Skaggs died. Kay was charged with drug distribution and drug conspiracy in Skaggs’ overdose death, according to the indictment in Fort Worth, Texas.
The charges carry a maximum of a life sentence and 20 years in prison, respectively