Fort Walton Beach man arrested on homicide charge connected to fentanyl overdose death

Northwest Florida Daily News/USA TODAY NETWORK

SHALIMAR — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Fort Walton Beach man wanted for homicide Tuesday afternoon. 

Ricky Wilson Jr., 31, is charged with homicide resulting from the distribution of a controlled substance in connection with a fentanyl overdose death that occurred in June 2019, according to a news release from the OCSO. 

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Ricky Wilson Jr.

Investigators believe Wilson supplied the heroin that led to the death of 29-year-old John O’Brien. According to a probable cause warrant, O’Brien was found unconscious in the bathroom of his home on Tanager Road on June 7, 2019. 

O’Brien was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where he died three days later. His cause of death was cited as fentanyl toxicity. A Sheriff's Office investigation found that O'Brien had been communicating with Wilson via telephone almost daily to buy heroin. 

According to the news release, Wilson was spotted by deputies Tuesday afternoon while driving north on State Road 189 near Eldridge Road. 

When they attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Wilson reportedly sped up and drove off the road to pass other cars on the right shoulder. He then headed into a neighborhood off Roberts Boulevard. 

Deputies found his vehicle partially concealed at the rear of a home on Cardinal Street. According to the release, a woman flagged down a deputy to say a man had just entered her house uninvited, OCSO reported. 

Deputies surrounded the home and repeatedly ordered Wilson to come out during about a 15-minute period. When they breached the front door, Wilson surrendered and was taken into custody. 

Deputies reportedly found more than four grams of heroin where Wilson had been hiding, and the homeowner advised that $500 was missing.

Wilson is a habitual offender, according to the news release. 

In addition to the homicide charge, he also faces charges of trafficking in heroin, theft, resisting arrest with lights and sirens activated, burglary, and driving with a suspended license.