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Alleged drug dealer charged with first-degree murder related to overdose death

TULSA, Okla. – Authorities say an alleged drug dealer has been charged with first-degree murder following a reported overdose death.

Officials say 29-year-old Taylor Rogers is accused of selling heroin to Jillian Searle, who was found unconscious in her home on March 21. She died from the overdose a short time later.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced that Rogers is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with Searle’s death.

“We hope the charge of first degree murder sends a clear message to drug dealers, who sell poison to the men, women and children of Oklahoma,” Attorney General Hunter said. “We are coming after you to hold you accountable for the anguish and suffering you are causing Oklahomans. Though we cannot bring Jillian back, I hope her family feels some sense of relief.”

According to the arrest affidavit, Rogers admitted to selling a gram of heroin to Searle approximately 24 hours before her death.

“Dealing drugs in our community in any amount is never acceptable,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan. “With the help of the Safe Oklahoma Grant allowing us to put more boots on the ground, we are going to continue our successful mission to find these drug dealers and stop them. I appreciate Attorney General Hunter and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office for their partnership and dedication to prosecuting these criminals to the furthest extent of the law.”

Officials say they hope these charges send a message to drug dealers across the state.

“Though we cannot replace a life, we can demand justice for someone taking one,” said First Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless. “We felt the charge was necessary to get Rogers off the street and show other drug dealers our goal is to ensure they will spend the rest of their lives in prison for these actions.”