Alleged drug dealer arrested in fatal Arlington overdose

The arrest comes nine months after a man was found dead in Arlington from a fentanyl and alcohol overdose.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Arlington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118

ARLINGTON — A man sold fentanyl pills that led to a fatal overdose in Arlington earlier this year, according to police reports filed in court Wednesday.

Robin Clariday, 34, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail this week for investigation of controlled substance homicide. The arrest came nine months after a man was found dead in a “locked room” in an Arlington apartment from a combination of fentanyl and alcohol, an Arlington officer wrote in a police report.

On Jan. 12, investigators located the man’s body in an apartment complex in Arlington, according to police records. Next to him were five pills in a bag, a burnt piece of foil and alcohol.

The man’s cause of death was later discovered to be the combined effects of fentanyl and ethanol, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office. A toxicology report found the man’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.145 grams per 100 milliliters, while the fentanyl concentration was 5.3 nanograms per milliliters.

Hours before, security footage showed the man in a parking lot meeting with another person, later identified as Clariday, the Arlington officer wrote in the report. The video showed the two talking for several minutes, before Clariday got into the man’s car and drove off camera.

When they returned to the parking lot roughly 15 minutes later, the man was seen handing cash to Clariday, who exchanged it for “a baggie,” officer Kypher Koska wrote. Clariday reportedly got out of the car and left on foot.

Arlington police reviewed the security footage and “immediately recognized this subject from prior law enforcement contacts” as Clariday, the officer wrote.

Clariday was reportedly homeless, making it hard to find him, police wrote.

But on Sept. 6, police were notified he had been booked into the Marysville jail. In an interview with Koska, the suspect reportedly said he regularly sold fentanyl pills in small quantities, but only sold to the deceased man once.

As a fentanyl user himself, Clariday told investigators he has “not had problems” with overdoses, but knew they were common, Kypher wrote.

On Friday, he appeared restrained before Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui. Defense attorney Will Gelvick argued Clariday was only accused of selling the man fentanyl, but not the alcohol that contributed to his death.

However, Bui found probable cause and set bail at $50,000.

Clariday had no prior felony convictions.

Controlled substance homicide is a rare charge in Snohomish County. Prosecutors filed one case earlier this year, in May, against a man accused of bragging “that his pills killed people.” The fatal overdose in that case happened in April 2020; prosecutors filed charges three years later; and the case was still pending as of Friday.

So far this year, there have been 164 fatal drug overdoses involving fentanyl in Snohomish County, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Last year, the county saw 189 fentanyl overdose deaths.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434;; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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