A man who confessed to handing over the fake pharmaceutical pills that killed Grammy-nominated rapper Mac Miller has received a federal prison sentence of nearly 11 years, according to court documents.
Ryan Michael Reavis, 39, pleaded guilty November 30, 2021 to one count of distributing fentanyl, as one of three men charged in connection with the 2018 death of the musician, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick.
A judge in a US district court in Los Angeles on Monday sentenced Reavis to 10 years and 11 months in prison, according to case records.
Prosecutors asked the judge, Otis Wright II, for a sentence of 12 years and seven months.
Reavis admitted to getting a prescription for painkillers mixed with the strong opiate fentanyl from a man named Stephen Walter and, at Walter’s orders, leaving them with a third defendant, Cameron Pettit, in LA.
Pettit sold tainted oxycodone pills to Miller, who two days later swallowed them and died of an overdose caused mainly by fentanyl, authorities said.
Drug dealers are known to tie their merchandise with fentanyl to make it stronger while keeping the selling price relatively affordable. Experts say specially crafted lab drugs have fueled the opioid crisis for years.
Investigators examining Miller’s death found messages showing Reavis was still selling pills, dubbed the fake blues, even though “people had been dying left and right”.
“They can start placing [people] in prison for life for selling counterfeit pills,” reads one message cited in the Reavis case file.
Federal prosecutors charged Reavis, Walter and Pettit with distributing fentanyl and conspiring to handle the drug that resulted in the death. As part of the plea deal, Reavis and Pettit each pleaded guilty solely to charges of distributing fentanyl.
Walter, 49, is awaiting a sentencing hearing set for May 16. He has agreed to serve 17 years in prison.
Until this week, Pettit, 30, continued to hint at an intention to go to court. He could face life in prison if he is found guilty of a drug conspiracy charge that resulted in the death.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported Monday’s sentencing, a lawyer for Reavis said the defendant was battling an addiction that has gripped Miller and many other Americans.
“Mac Miller is loved and admired by many,” said Cori Ferrentino. “He fought many of the same demons related to addiction that Mr. Reavis had struggled with all his life. Mr Reavis didn’t lose a minute that he would be able to return to his family and Mac Miller would not.”
Miller, from Pittsburgh, frequently explores depression and drug use in his music. Hits include titles like Donald Trump, Programs and Self Care. His death prompted superstars such as Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott and Ty Dolla $ign to perform at the tribute concert.
Miller’s last album, Swimming, earned him a posthumous Grammy nomination. He is also known for his relationship with pop singer Ariana Grande which ended a few months before his death.