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"My son was executed" — mother shares painful story of son's overdose death

NATIONWIDE (WGME) — More than one person a day died of a drug overdose in Maine last year, according to new statistics released by the Office of the Attorney General.

Drug agents say part of the drug crisis is because so called "designer drugs" can be deadly and keep finding their way onto the street.

Fentanyl, a drug sometimes 50 times more powerful than heroin is among the worst.

A Florida mother is sharing her painful story as part of her crusade to help young people and start a national discussion about drugs.

"I opened the door and there he was laying in the fetal position dead. My life at that moment stopped," Peggy Hernandez said.

Her son Ty died at 23 to a drug overdose.

"Seeing the child you brought into this world laying there lifeless and blue and cold, it's the worst feeling for a mother to ever go through. It's not the way it's supposed to happen. I'm supposed to go first," Hernandez said.

Ty had just moved back home after a break-up. Hernandez said her son smoked pot from time to time, but she and her husband didn't allow it at home.

He got a new job and was saving money.

His parents thought everything was going well, so they were stunned when he didn't come down for breakfast one morning.

"I was knocking on his door, calling his name, nobody was coming to the door," she said.

Hernandez said she couldn't believe what detectives found when they came to her home.

"He doesn't do heroin. The only thing this kid ever did was marijuana, and they go, no ma'am this is heroin. This is what it looks like," she said.

The autopsy showed the heroin Ty smoked was laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

"He was dead the moment he took the first inhale. My son was executed," she said.

Peggy said her son had an addiction, but said he wasn't buying a death sentence.

"The drug dealer was still sending text messages to Mr. Hernandez who had passed away and his parents saw the text messages because he wanted to be paid," US Postal Inspector Blad Roji said.

That's how police found the dealer. It's the first time a federal jury convicted a dealer for selling the drugs that killed someone.

The Hernandez family now wants to prompt a national discussion about why so many kids are turning to drug use and its deadly effects.

The drug dealer in this case was sentenced last October to 30 years in prison.

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