A 28-year-old man is pleading “not guilty” for his role in the death of rapper Mac Miller.
Appearing before a federal judge Thursday morning, Cameron Pettit said few words, kept his eyes down and spoke primarily to his attorney, John D. Robertson. Pettit and two other men, 36-year-old Ryan Reavis and 46-year-old Stephen Walter, have been charged with the possession and distribution of counterfeit oxycodone pills that contributed to Miller’s overdose in his Studio City home last year.
According to the criminal complaint, Miller - real name Malcolm James McCormick - died on September 7, 2018, of mixed drug toxicity. Law enforcement officials found evidence that Miller snorted oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid, shortly before his death at the age of 26.
Shortly before midnight on Sept. 4, 2018, the complaint says, Miller sent a text to Pettit to inquire about obtaining drugs. Pettit responded by offering to get “blues,” which the court documents define as “blue-colored pills containing 30 milligrams of oxycodone.” Miller replied, “Those are my shitttts man.”
The drugs were delivered in the early morning hours of Sept. 5. It is believed that this was not the first time Miller purchased such drugs--text messages and Venmo records show several past incidents of solicitation and payment, including requests for other drugs like cocaine and Xanax. After Miller’s death, law enforcement officials recovered a plastic bag from a coat in his closet which contained approximately 40 assorted pills. The post-death toxicology results confirmed that he consumed the counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl shortly before his death.
According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic pain reliever that is approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it is often mixed with heroin and cocaine without the user’s knowledge. The CDC also reports that overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by almost 47% from 2016 to 2017. In addition to Miller, the deaths of Prince and Tom Petty are also attributed to fentanyl.
On the day of Miller’s death, Pettit apparently messaged a friend on Instagram. “Most likely I will die in jail,” he said.
Pettit’s trial is now scheduled for November 26. If convicted, he will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.