Suspect was friends with man who died from fentanyl overdose, family says

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — Dakoda Drake is now in jail accused of giving fentanyl to Julius Gunter, who overdosed and died.

Gunter’s family said the two were friends, which they said is one of the worst parts of the case.

Iredell County detectives said they looked at his phone and social media records, which is how they connected Drake with Gunter’s death.

“These are my memories,” said Jennifer Gunter Windon, Julius’ mother. “I can go back. I can look. I can see his smile. I can see his blue eyes.”

Windon admits she knew little about her son’s addiction.

“My youngest son never should’ve had to do CPR on his brother,” she said. “My grandkids’ mother should have never had to find him.”

Windon says they found Gunter unresponsive in her home last summer.

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office says Gunter’s toxicology report confirms he died from a fentanyl overdose.

Deputies arrested Drake on Friday and charged him with felony death by distribution in connection to Gunter’s death.

“He and my son were friends, and that’s what’s even worse about this is that they were friends,” Windon said.

She says she had been waiting months for the arrest and is patiently awaiting justice to be served.

“It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because finally, we are one step closer to getting complete justice,” Windon said.

Windon spoke with Channel 9 Tuesday night because she says she wants those who are battling addiction to seek help.

Drake is in the Iredell County Jail under a $350,000 bond.

VIDEO: CMPD targets young people in campaign to raise awareness around fentanyl