Federal agents Wednesday arrested a Hollywood Hills man in connection with the death of hip-hop artist Mac Miller, who was found dead of a drug overdose nearly a year ago.
Cameron James Pettit, 28, allegedly supplied Miller with counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. Miller had asked to be furnished with “percs,” an abbreviation for percocet, a prescribed painkiller containing oxycodone, according to a newly unsealed federal criminal complaint charging Pettit with one count of distribution of a controlled substance.
At his initial federal court appearance in downtown Los Angeles, Pettit was not asked to enter a plea, but he was ordered detained pending trial and was given an Oct. 11 arraignment date.
Prior to the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Jacobs warned of the use of black-market pills.
“People should know that if they consume black-market opioid pills, they’re playing Russian roulette,” the prosecutor said outside the courtroom.
Miller was discovered unresponsive in his Studio City home last Sept. 7. The manner of death was certified as accidental, although it was later determined that the 26-year-old rapper died from an overdose of alcohol, cocaine and fentanyl, according to medical records.
Prosecutors allege Pettit agreed to supply Miller — whose real name was Malcolm James McCormick — with 30 milligram oxycodone pills, as well as cocaine and the sedative Xanax.
Instead of providing Miller with genuine oxycodone when he made the delivery during the early morning hours last Sept. 5, Pettit allegedly sold Miller counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin, according to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint.
Two days after Pettit allegedly supplied the rapper with the fentanyl-laced pills, Miller was found dead. The affidavit alleges that hours after news outlets reported the death, Pettit sent a message to a friend saying, “Most likely I will die in jail.”
Investigators believe that Miller died after snorting the counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and that those pills had been provided by Pettit, according to the affidavit. While another suspected dealer supplied Miller with other drugs prior to his death, those narcotics drugs did not contain fentanyl, the affidavit states.
“Fentanyl disguised as a genuine pharmaceutical is a killer — which is being proven every day in America,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna. “Drugs laced with cheap and potent fentanyl are increasingly common, and we owe it to the victims and their families to aggressively target the drug dealers that cause these overdose deaths.”
If convicted of the drug trafficking charge alleged in the complaint, Pettit would face up to 20 years in federal prison, according to prosecutors.
The case is expected to be presented to a Los Angeles federal grand jury in the coming weeks, and an indictment would be forthcoming, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Officials said the investigation is ongoing.