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Couple arrested after their 7-month-old boy overdoses on fentanyl at Boca Inn

Bianley Jolicoeur, Gekia Hunter held; child survives
Boca Raton Police Department vehicle 2-28-23
Posted at 4:06 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 17:36:31-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A South Florida couple are facing child neglect charges after their 7-month boy overdosed on fentanyl Monday at the Boca Inn.

Gekia Hunter, 26, of West Palm Beach, was arrested on charges of child neglect with great bodily harm, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, obstructing justice — tampering with evidence in a criminal proceeding, culpable negligence exposing someone to harm. Bianley Jolicoeur, 27, of Delray Beach, faces those charges except for obstructing justice.

About 9:30 p.m. Monday, the mother called 911 about her child not breathing at the motel at 1801 N. Federal Highway.

Boca Raton police and fire-rescue responded. They found him in full cardiac arrest, according to the arrest report.

Fire-rescue crews were able to regain a slight pulse. At Boca Raton Regional Medical Center, doctors revived the boy after giving him Narcan, which reverses opioid overdoses.

The baby was in stable condition at the hospital and taken to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital for further treatment.

RELATED: Fentanyl most lethal drug in Florida, law enforcement says

The baby's parents were both in the motel room with the child, according to the arrest report.

Police found 5.2 grams of fentanyl in the baby's diaper bag and under a gram of fentanyl in a drawer with the baby's clothes.

On top of the dresser were two straws used to snort "heroin" and on the floor next to the children's toys, police said.

In an interview with investigators, Hunter said the baby had a cold recently and was wheezing. She put him down for a nap and a short time later, she noticed the baby started to make gargling noises.

Hunter initially denied using any type of drug in the hotel room. But after they told her what they found in the room, she said, Jolicoeur has been selling heroin and the drugs in the room belonged to him.

RELATED: Family of toddler who died from fentanyl after visiting Wellington Airbnb now suing short-term rental company

Surveillance video showed Hunter throwing out a bag of trash before fire-rescue crews arrived. Inside the trash, police found empty clear capsules with a white residue thought to be fentanyl, a clear straw with a white residue believed to be fentanyl and a Pollo Tropical bag.

Hunter then admitted to throwing out the trash bag with some of the evidence, including heroin.

She said she would snort "heroin" in the bathroom and Jolicoeur would snort "heroin" in the dresser, according to the arrest reports.

Hunter's bond is set at $14,000 and Jolicoeur's bond is $19,000. They are in the county jail in West Palm Beach and their next court date is 10:30 a.m. April 13.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic, according to the FDA.

Fentanyl can be injected, snorted/sniffed, smoked, taken orally by pill or tablet, and spiked onto blotter paper.