By Eliza Partika
Outlook Valley Sun
The arrest earlier this month of a suspected drug dealer connected with the 2021 death of an area teenager has spurred renewed caution regarding the deadly fentanyl epidemic that is sweeping the nation.
Tevan Gevorkian died in December of 2021 at 19 after he and a friend unknowingly ingested fentanyl in Glendale. While his friend recovered after being transported to the hospital, medical personnel were unable to save Gevorkian.
“Tevan was always one to put a smile on someone’s face even in the worst of times. His personality was so unique that in a few words, you felt like you knew him for the longest of times, creating a special bond with all,” read the GoFundMe page for Gevorkian.
Gevorkian had strong ties to the area as an Eagle Scout, earning the highest honor in scouting, and often frequented local basketball courts.
Glendale Police Chief Manny Cid spoke to the Glendale City Council on Tuesday about the recent arrest of the suspect associated with Gevorkian’s death, a 23-year-old North Hollywood resident.
After a 16-month long investigation, the GPD chief, the Los Angeles County Sheriff, the DEA, FBI and the attorney general held a press conference at the Los Angeles Federal Building on May 9 to discuss the arrest.
“We announced an indictment that would be coming down, along with a handful of arrests in the local area that were made of individuals who through arrest had been identified for distributing and selling narcotics, and more specifically, we were able to identify that it resulted in the loss of someone’s life,” Cid told the City Council at its meeting.
“Our deepest condolences to the family of Tevan Gevorkian. I had the pleasure of meeting Tevan’s father. I learned of a life cherished by his family and numerous members of the Glendale community,” Cid said. “Thank you to our Glendale police detectives, who were unwavering in their pursuit of justice. Additionally, we appreciate the partnership with the DEA.”
Glendale City Council members said they were relieved to hear of the arrest and recalled the tragedy that hurt so many in the community. Members also urged awareness about the presence of fentanyl in commonplace drugs.
“All I want to say is thank you,” said Councilman Ardy Kassakhian. “Once we all heard the news, those of us who knew the family were shaken by it. A couple of things dawned on us: This could visit any family. It’s not like this was a kid who had a history of drug abuse, it’s just the worst tragedy any parent could imagine,” he said.
Kassakhian counseled parents to be aware of who their child is associating with and what is being given to them. “To all the kids out there: Just be very, very careful,” he cautioned.
Mayor Dan Brotman also emphasized that fentanyl is impossible to recognize.
“They’re not overdoses in these situations. They are poisonings,” said Brotman. “This is not a situation of somebody taking more than they should, trying to get a bigger high. This is someone experimenting with, as many kids do, with something they believe is generally harmless. In this case, it took someone’s life. To the kids out there, we get that you want to experiment but anything that’s online or is around in the market, it can end your life.”
Other cases associated with this arrest highlighted the impact that social media and other platforms are having in pushing deadly drugs such as fentanyl.
The GPD made the arrest and worked with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to indict the suspect on several charges, including Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in Death, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and multiple weapons charges. He is currently in federal custody.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Glendale Police Department at (818) 548-4911. To remain anonymous, call (800) 222-8477.
First published in the May 18 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.