LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Angels employee told federal investigators he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years before the pitcher’s death from an overdose in July, according to the employee's attorney.
Eric Kay, communications director for the Angels, told investigators with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that two team officials were notified about Skaggs' drug use long before his death, according to attorney Michael Molfetta.
Kay also provided the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels in separate meetings with DEA agents in Dallas and Los Angeles in late September.
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Molfetta would not provide further details of the players named in the allegations by Kay.
Molfetta stressed his client was not a target of any investigation. Officials from the DEA and the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
"MLB was unaware of any of these allegations," a Major League Baseball spokesman told NBC News. "MLB will fully cooperate with the government investigation and conduct its own investigation when the government investigation is completed."
Skaggs choked on his own vomit almost two months ago, authorities said Friday, due to "mixed ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication," according to findings by Dr. Marc Krouse, Tarrant County deputy chief medical examiner. His death was ruled an accident.
His family released a statement in August saying they were "heartbroken" to learn the cause of death. "We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels," the statement added. "We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them," adding that they had hired lawyer Rusty Hardin to investigate.
In a statement to NBC News on Tuesday, Kay said, "Watching and reading the sordid details of my own weaknesses unfold on the national stage has been nothing short of horrible."
"However, I am aware and respectful of the fact that my pain is entirely insignificant compared to the pain that the Skaggs’ family is feeling and will continue to feel for the rest of their lives. I made the decision to cooperate with law enforcement because I felt that it was the right thing to do. That is all I can do from this point on. If it comes with public shame and derision, I accept that."
Kay is currently in outpatient treatment for substance abuse and has been placed on paid leave from the Angels.