A Los Angeles man will serve nearly two decades in prison for his role in supplying the fentanyl-containing pills that contributed to rapper Mac Miller’s accidental drug overdose in 2018.
A federal judge sentenced Stephen Walter to 210 months – or 17.5 years – in prison on Monday, according to documents from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Walter, 49, had pleaded guilty last October to a federal criminal charge of distributing fentanyl, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. At the time, he reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to serve exactly 17 years.
But Judge Otis D. Wright II threw out that conviction on Monday because rolling stone reports because it fell below federal guidelines and prosecutors argued that Walter continued to sell counterfeit pills until his arrest in 2019.
“I may as well expose it, okay,” Wright reportedly said in the courtroom. “When you continue to engage in this activity even after your activities have killed someone, I have a hard time not following the guidelines.”
rolling stone reports that Walter accepted the higher sentence after conferring with his attorney for a few minutes. Addressing the court at one point, Walter apologized to Miller’s family, but said it wasn’t until his arrest that he learned the rapper had died of something that happened to him. he had provided.
“My actions caused a lot of pain, and for that I really feel remorse,” Walter said, according to the magazine. “I’m not that kind of person who wants to hurt anyone. It’s not me. But on the paperwork where it says I continued to do that kind of behavior after knowing there was had died, that’s not the truth, your honor.”
Walter is one of three people charged in connection with Miller’s death, along with Ryan Michael Reavis and Cameron James Pettit.
Here’s how the drugs got to Miller, prosecutors say
Federal prosecutors charged Walter with providing the counterfeit oxycodone pills to Reavis, who allegedly gave them to Pettit. Walter told the court that he ordered Reavis to deliver the pills to Pettit, as he believed Pettit wanted them for himself and was unaware that he intended to sell them to someone else.
As Miller negotiated to buy oxycodone from Pettit, prosecutors say he instead sold the artist the fake fentanyl-containing pills.
Two days later, on September 7, 2018, Miller was found unconscious at his home in Los Angeles.
The chart-topping rapper and producer, born Malcolm James McCormick, had died aged 26 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.
Reavis was sentenced last month to more than 10 years in prison. The case against Pettit – who pleaded not guilty in federal court in Los Angeles – was still pending in April.
Miller’s mother and judge speak out against the dangers of fentanyl
Miller had spoken publicly about his struggles with substance abuse throughout his career, which he also documented in his music. In his song “Small Worlds,” which he performed publicly at an NPR Tiny Desk concert recorded a few weeks before his death, he rapped, “I may trip, but I never fall. At home.”
In a victim impact statement read by prosecutors at sentencing, Miller’s mother, Karen Meyers, said he never knowingly took a pill containing fentanyl, adding that “he wanted to live and was excited about the future.”
“My life just darkened [Miller] left her world,” she wrote. ” [He] was my person, more than a son. We had a deep, special and irreplaceable bond and kinship. We talked almost every day about everything – his life, his projects, his music, his dreams.”
Wright, the judge, said Monday that his decision had nothing to do with Miller’s celebrity status, rolling stone reports.
“It was a human being who unwittingly took something that will kill you outright, and I have no idea why we have people here selling this stuff, peddling this stuff,” he said. said Wright. “That’s what upsets me. Everyone now knows that this stuff is going to kill you. I have to shut up because I’m about to embark on something stratospheric.”
The court also recommends that Walter complete a 500-hour residential substance abuse program and participate in outpatient treatment upon his release from prison.