A Hollywood Hills man has been charged with selling the rapper Mac Miller counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl two days before the artist died of a drug overdose last September, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The suspect, Cameron James Pettit, 28, agreed to supply Mr. Miller with oxycodone pills, cocaine and Xanax, according to the criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles. But, instead of providing genuine oxycodone, Mr. Pettit delivered the 26-year-old rapper counterfeit oxycodone that contained fentanyl, a synthetic opiate estimated to be over 50 times as powerful as heroin, according to the complaint.
Two days later, on Sept. 7, 2018, Mr. Miller died in his Studio City home. Mr. Miller, who was born Malcolm James McCormick, had just released his fifth full-length album, “Swimming,” when he died.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner later determined that Mr. Miller had suffered an accidental fatal overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol. Investigators believe that the rapper died after snorting the counterfeit pills.
Hours after the rapper’s death was reported, Mr. Pettit sent a message to a friend saying, “Most likely I will die in jail,” according to the criminal complaint.It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Pettit had retained a lawyer.
If convicted of the drug trafficking charge, Mr. Pettit could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
While another person also supplied Mr. Miller with drugs before his death, according to the complaint, only Mr. Pettit stands accused of providing him with fentanyl.
The involvement of fentanyl puts Mr. Miller in the company of other musicians like Prince, Tom Petty and Lil Peep, all of whom died from accidental overdoses involving the drug in recent years. A major component in the growing opiate crisis across the United States, fentanyl is often mixed into black-market supplies of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines.
Mr. Miller was known as a versatile rapper and producer who refused to adhere to one style. Each of his albums debuted in the Top Five of the Billboard chart. He often rapped about substance abuse and spoke openly about his struggles with depression and addiction.