LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he sold counterfeit opioid pills to Mac Miller two days before the rapper died of an overdose.
A Drug Enforcement Agency affidavit unsealed after the arrest of Cameron James Pettit alleges that Miller asked him for oxycodone and other drugs, but on Sept. 5, 2018, Pettit gave Miller counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.
Pettit, 28, who lives in the Hollywood Hills, appeared in court Wednesday but did not enter a plea. A judge ordered him held without bail and appointed him a public defender.
The 26-year-old Miller, who was known to many as Ariana Grande’s ex-boyfriend but was a respected rapper in his own right, was found dead by his assistant at his San Fernando Valley home on Sept. 7, 2018.
An autopsy found that Miller died from an accidental overdose , via a combination of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.
Authorities found drugs they believe were from Pettit in Miller’s home, and evidence that Miller had crushed and sniffed oxycodone provided by Pettit.
Pettit has only been charged with providing the drugs, however, and not with having a direct role in Miller’s death. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney, and no relative or associate of Pettit could be found for comment.
After reports of Miller’s death circulated, Pettit sent an Instagram message to a friend saying, “Most likely I will die in jail,” according to the affidavit.
Pettit goes on to write, “I’m gonna get off the grid. Move to another country.”
Magistrate Judge Maria A. Audero cited that message in denying bail to Pettit, saying it suggested he is flight risk.
Audero also said Pettit has no assets or family members willing to post bail.
He stood in court in a T-shirt with pink hair and tattoos on his neck and face and only spoke to answer the judge’s questions.
Deputy Federal Public Defender Charles Snyder didn’t object to Pettit’s detention but said he may move for his release later. He declined comment after the hearing.
Pettit was ordered to return to court for arraignment Oct. 10.
Investigators also obtained text messages between Miller and Pettit before the sale, in which Miller proclaims his love for oxycodone, or “percs” for the brand name Percocet, and also asks for “bars” of Xanax and a “ball” of cocaine.
“When can u get em?” Miller asks, according to a transcript of the exchange contained in court filings.
“Probably in an hour or 2. They are 30 ea,” Pettit replies.
“Any chance I can get 10 of those, 10 bars and a ball?” Miller asks.
“Yeah for sure,” Pettit replies.
The autopsy report found that Miller had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but had not previously overdosed or been hospitalized for any reason.
The report notes that Miller’s many tattoos included one of an hourglass on his arm with the words, “Only so much time left in this crazy world.”
Miller’s assistant told investigators he was feeling positive about the projects he was working on, but had a tendency to slip into drug binges.
Miller’s family declined comment on the arrest through a spokesman.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement after Pettit’s arrest that “Fentanyl disguised as a genuine pharmaceutical is a killer — which is being proven every single day in America.”
The charges were first reported Wednesday by NBC News.
A Pittsburgh native whose real name was Malcolm James Myers McCormick, Miller’s rhymes included frank discussion of his depression and drug use, earning him fans among some of the biggest names in hip-hop.
Performers at a concert in his honor included Chance the Rapper and Travis Scott.
He was also in a two-year relationship with Grande that ended earlier in 2018. After his death she posted an affectionate video of him on her Instagram page and released a song, “Thank U Next,” that lovingly mentions him, saying, “Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm ’cause he was an angel.”
Miller is the latest musician whose death has been linked in recent years to a national wave of opioid abuse and overdoses. Prince died in 2016 when he took counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl that looked like a generic version of the painkiller Vicodin.
Matthew Roberts, guitarist for the band 3 Doors Down, also died of an overdose in 2016, and had fentanyl and hydrocodone in his system.
By ANDREW DALTON
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