LOS ANGELES – Three men were named today in a federal grand jury indictment that alleges they distributed narcotics, including counterfeit pharmaceutical pills containing fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of hip-hop artist Mac Miller.
Cameron James Pettit, 28, of West Hollywood; Stephen Andrew Walter, 46, of Westwood; and Ryan Michael Reavis, 36, a former West Los Angeles resident who relocated to Lake Havasu, Arizona earlier this year, were charged in a three-count indictment.
All three defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances resulting in death and distribution of fentanyl resulting in death – each of which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a potential sentence of life without parole. Walter alone is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition, which, if he were to be convicted, would result in a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.
The feds say Mac crushed the pills, snorted them and died.
As TMZ reported … feds say the deal went down like this: Mac ordered from Pettit, Pettit ordered from Walter … and Reavis was the mule, delivering the drugs from Walter to Pettit.
Now for the details…
Law enforcement sources say Stephen “Stevie” Walter was contacted by Cameron James Pettit on the night of September 4, 2018 — Mac died on Sept. 7 — asking for “10 blues” … Percocet pills.
Cops say Mac had texted Pettit the following …
Mac — “percs?”
Pettit — “I got some dilaudid 2s but that’s about it. I could get yellows and blues though”
Mac — “blues as far as percs?”
Pettit — “Yeah 30s”
Mac — “Those are my sh*tttts man”
From there, according to cops, Pettit then contacted Walter to obtain the ten blues. Walter sent a runner to Pettit with the pills — and Pettit delivered them to Mac at about 2:30 AM on September 5 — the rapper was found dead on September 7.
The runner was allegedly Ryan Reavis who was arrested in Lake Havasu. Reavis was taken into federal custody in Arizona on September 26 on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is currently in custody and is being transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshals Service.
During their investigation of Mac’s death scene, cops found a magazine in his bedroom covered with blue-colored powder and indentations near a rolled piece of paper and a gift card. Cops say the scene indicated Mac crushed or snorted one or more pills … only 6 of the 10 pills were recovered.
Pettit clearly knew he was in trouble, according to the docs, he texted a friend after news of Mac’s death, “I’m pretty sad and also a little worried.” He then sent a link to a TMZ story about Demi Lovato‘s alleged dealer getting arrested and said, “This is what I’m afraid of … I feel really guilty … If I have to go to jail I hope to spend some time with you first.”
However, Pettit clearly didn’t learn his lesson, because cops say less than a month later, he bought more “blues” from Walter.
Walter was picked up September 23 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on a charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance in connection to Mac’s death. It’s not his first drug charge, he was on supervised release following a 10-year federal drug trafficking sentence. He was also ordered held without bond. Walter also is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on October 10.
Pettit, who was previously ordered detained after being charged in a criminal complaint with distributing narcotics to McCormick, is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on October 10.
According to court documents, the three defendants distributed narcotics to 26-year-old Malcolm James McCormick – who recorded and performed under the name Mac Miller – approximately two days before McCormick suffered a fatal drug overdose in Studio City on September 7, 2018. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner later determined that McCormick died of mixed drug toxicity involving fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.
According to the indictment, late on the night of September 4, Pettit agreed to supply McCormick with 10 “blues” – a street term for oxycodone pills – as well as cocaine and the sedative Xanax. But, instead of providing McCormick with genuine oxycodone when he made the delivery during the early morning hours of September 5, Pettit allegedly sold McCormick counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl – a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. The indictment alleges that Pettit ordered the fentanyl-laced pills from Walter, and then Reavis delivered the narcotics to Pettit.
Investigators believe that McCormick died after snorting the counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and that those pills had been provided by Pettit, according to court documents. While another individual allegedly supplied McCormick with other drugs prior to his death, those narcotics did not contain fentanyl, according to court documents.
Less than one month after McCormick’s death, Walter agreed to sell Pettit another 10 “blues,” according to the indictment, which alleges other drug deals between the two men over the course of 2019, with one as recent as August 30.
The new indictment quotes a text message he sent after realizing he was negotiating a narcotics transaction with an unknown person that reads, in part: “People have been dying from fake blues left and right, you better believe law enforcement is using informants and undercover to buy them on the street do [sic] they can start putting ppl in prison for life for selling fake pills.”
“It has become increasingly common for us to see drug dealers peddling counterfeit pharmaceuticals made with fentanyl. As a consequence, fentanyl is now the number one cause of overdose deaths in the United States,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “These defendants allegedly continued to sell narcotics after Mr. McCormick’s death with full knowledge of the risks their products posed to human life. We will continue to aggressively target drug dealers responsible for the spread of this dangerous chemical.”
Special Agent in Charge William D. Bodner of the DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division remarked, “Counterfeit pharmaceutical pills are especially dangerous because users are unable to verify what they are ingesting. The tragic death of Mac Miller is a high-profile example of the tragedy that is occurring on the streets of America every day. Today’s indictment highlights the efforts of DEA agents, local law enforcement officers, and prosecutors who work tirelessly to bring dangerous drug dealers to justice.”
The ongoing investigation in this matter is being conducted by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s (HIDTA) Opioid Response Team, which operates under the direction of the DEA. The Los Angeles Police Department provided substantial assistance in this matter.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. Jacobs of the General Crimes Section.
Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
LOS ANGELES — On the eve of the one year incarceration of Democratic donor and activist Ed Buck in the deaths of two Black gay men, Justice 4 Gemmel and All of Ed Buck’s Victims has begun gathering signatures for a petition calling upon Magistrate Judge Rozella A. Oliver to deny bail to Buck.
The petition comes after Ed Buck, 65, petitioned the court arguing that he is at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 while in jail due to his age and because he says he suffers from gum disease and needs specialized cardiac care.
“Nah. He says he has gum disease and a heart issue. So then while in jail, he needs to watch what he eats, brush his teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss and use some mouthwash,” said Jasmyne Cannick who advocated for Buck’s arrest. “He might also consider not engaging in any type of physical activity that would excite him. The bottom line is that he’s a danger to Black men at any age–COVID or no COVID. He was in his 60s when Gemmel and Timothy died so he should not be allowed to use his age now to get out of jail.”
Buck is awaiting trial on charges of supplying illegal drugs to two men who overdosed and died inside of his West Hollywood apartment within a year and a half of each other.
Ed Buck’s attorneys have said that he would sign a $400,000 appearance bond, surrender his passport, and would agree to electronic monitoring if released.
Buck is charged with nine federal counts–including one count alleging that he knowingly enticed 26-year-old Gemmel Moore to travel to the Los Angeles area to engage in sex work and provided him methamphetamine who overdosed on the drug and died on July 27, 2017. Buck also is charged with another count of enticing another man to travel with the intent of engaging in prostitution. On January 7, 2019, Timothy Dean died of a methamphetamine overdose in Ed Buck’s apartment.
After his arrest last year on Sep. 17, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging that Buck “engaged in a pattern of soliciting men to consume drugs that Buck provided and perform sexual acts at Buck’s apartment,” which is a practice described as “party and play.” Buck allegedly solicited victims on social media platforms, including a gay dating website, and used a recruiter to scout and proposition men.
Buck also faces charges, including operating a drug house, that were filed last year by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Cannick continued, “Even if the courts mandated that Buck cannot use a computer, fly people into town, or use social media dating sites, there is nothing in his history to indicate that Buck would change his previous behavior that led to the deaths of two men and the near-death of countless others. Nothing.”
Ms. Cannick also shared that many of Buck’s victims have contacted her and are concerned about their safety should Ed Buck be released.
“I’m disturbed and devastated,” added Joann Campbell, sister of Timothy Dean. “The thought of this dangerous man– who I believe killed my brother– even being considered for bail is outrageous. I am pleading to the judge to hold Ed Buck in jail until his trial. He is responsible for two deaths in his apartment. My brother and Gemmel Moore are dead because of Buck. This is a slap in the face to our families. He is a dangerous man and will most likely kill again if let out. Please keep him behind bars. I’m afraid for Black gay men in Los Angeles if he is released.”
“Ed Buck’s previous history shows he is a danger,” said LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore. “After Gemmel was killed we warned that another person would end up dead if he wasn’t arrested and Buck did not prove us wrong as Timothy Dean was killed just a year and a half later. We repeatedly told authorities Ed Buck was out of control and still after my son and Timothy Dean died, he was up to his old tricks and attempted to fatally overdose another man. If he is released he will continue to prey upon Black gay men. Ed Buck is a menace and deserves to be held in custody to ensure that no other person is killed by Ed Buck.”
“I am just speechless as well as restless just thinking of what will happen next–who will be the next to die–if Ed Buck is released from jail,” said Joyce Jackson, sister of Timothy Dean.
Cannick concluded with, “I am all for bail reform, but people like Ed Buck should not be the beneficiaries of the bail reform movement.”
The petition will be delivered to the Magistrate Judge and to federal prosecutors at the September 25 hearing in Los Angeles. Anyone interested can sign the petition here.
Former ‘InfoWars’ Host Alex Jones Arrested for DWI in Texas
TEXAS (TMZ) — According to police docs, cops were called to Jones’ residence for a family disturbance. When they arrived, his wife claimed they had a verbal altercation that “was physical” earlier in the day. She allegedly told the officer Jones took off in his car and was possibly drinking.
Cops caught up with him shortly afterward — sometime after 10 PM Monday night — and pulled him over. The arrest report says the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Jones.
Jones allegedly admitted he drank a bottle of sake while he and his wife were at a sushi restaurant a couple hours earlier, and they got into an argument. Jones told the officer he walked home, but the argument continued there … so he left to go to another residence to get away from her.
According to the report … Jones demonstrated some impairment during field sobriety tests, such as swaying and losing his balance, but he did blow slightly below a .08 on the Intoxilyzer — twice.
It should be noted … it’s unclear who the “wife” is in the report. Jones divorced his previous wife in 2015, and as far as we know … he has not remarried.
Alex Jones has a fresh DWI case deep in the heart of Texas … the former “InfoWars” host was busted early Tuesday morning in the Austin-area.
Jones was booked around 12:30 AM … according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. He was back on the streets by 4 AM, after posting a $3,000 bond — and as you might expect, Jones is telling his own version of events.
He went on his “Alex Jones Show” podcast and said he blew under the legal limit of .08 … so he thinks the whole charge will go away. “InfoWars” is already floating a conspiracy theory, saying Jones was caught in a DWI sting … aimed at increasing the Sheriff’s Department’s number of arrests.
So far, the Sheriff’s Department isn’t saying what Jones’ BAC was when he was arrested. Worth noting that in Texas you can be arrested for DWI even if you’re under the limit IF the officer thinks your driving ability is impaired.
Jones has been charged with misdemeanor DWI.
Prop 64: DA Announces Dismissals of 66K Marijuana Convictions
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Code for America has announced that nearly 66,000 marijuana convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64 will be dismissed as part of their cutting-edge partnership.
Today’s action marks the completion of the five-county Clear My Record pilot to clear marijuana-related convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64. The other counties in the pilot include San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa.
In total, these five pilots will help reduce or dismiss more than 85,000 Proposition 64 eligible convictions. “The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” Lacey said. “I am privileged to be part of a system dedicated to finding innovative solutions and implementing meaningful criminal justice reform that gives all people the support they need to build the life they deserve.”
“Today’s action marks the completion of our California Clear My Record pilot, through which we will have helped to dismiss and seal more than 85,000 marijuana convictions across the state,” said Evonne Silva, Code for America’s Senior Program Director of Criminal Justice. “This is a clear demonstration that automatic record clearance is possible at scale and can help to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs. Looking forward, Code for America stands at the ready to help all California counties provide this much needed relief in advance of the July 1, 2020 deadline.”
Prosecutors this week asked a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to dismiss 62,000 felony cannabis convictions for cases that date back to 1961.
The District Attorney’s Office also sought the dismissal of approximately 4,000 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases that included cases filed in 10 Los Angeles County cities: Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance, Pasadena, Inglewood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach.
Approximately 53,000 individuals will receive conviction relief through this partnership. Of those, approximately 32% are Black or African American, 20% are White, 45% are Latinx, and 3% are other or unknown.
Proposition 64 identifies three health and safety code sections that qualified for resentencing: cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana and sales and/or transport of marijuana, all felonies. The law also includes dismissing possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.
District Attorney Lacey used additional criteria to go beyond the parameters of the new law to ensure the greatest number of dismissals. Those expanded parameters include persons who are 50 years or older, haven’t had a felony conviction in the past 10 years or have successfully completed probation for cannabis convictions.
Based on this criteria, Code for America created a unique algorithm for the office in order to fast-track the identification of eligible convictions. This technology can analyze eligibility for thousands of convictions in seconds, alleviating the need for DA staff to go through state criminal records one by one to evaluate eligibility, saving time and significant resources.
AB 1793 Implementation
In California, all county District Attorney’s Offices are required to implement AB 1793 by July 1, 2020. Earlier this year, Code for America launched its new Clear My Record Application and Implementation Blueprint, available at no cost and open source to all California counties.
These resources allow every District Attorneys’ Office to expedite and streamline review of Proposition 64 convictions. The Clear My Record Application allows District Attorneys to securely and accurately evaluate eligibility for convictions by reading and interpreting criminal history data from the California Department of Justice.
Code for America has received an overwhelming interest from counties in accessing these resources to carry out the law. Code for America stands ready to work with counties that have not yet used this technology to help them automate the record clearance process and provide relief as required by law.
Record Clearance for the Digital Age
The current record clearance process was not designed to reach everyone who is eligible. With the current petition-based process, each person seeking relief must petition the court to clear their records, but this is a time-consuming, expensive, and confusing process. It is no surprise, then, that only 3% of those eligible for relief under Proposition 64 have received it.
Code for America’s pilot partnerships have set the standard for the statewide implementation of AB 1793, which tasks prosecutors with affirmatively reviewing convictions eligible for dismissal or reduction under Proposition 64.
This novel approach also creates a blueprint for the future of record clearance for remedies beyond Proposition 64 – the development of policy and technology that expands, streamlines and automates the record clearance process at scale. Code for America has been making it easier for people to remove eligible convictions from their records through Clear my Record technology since 2016.
To find out if your record has been cleared
To find out if your record has been cleared, or for more information about this initiative, contact the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office by phone at (323) 760-6763 or visit http://pubdef.lacounty.gov. The Public Defender’s Office will reply to all inquiries.
About Code for America
Code for America believes that government must work for the people, and by the people, in the digital age, starting with the people who need it most. It builds digital services that enhance government capabilities, and helps others do the same across all levels of government. It organizes thousands of volunteers across nearly 80 chapters nationwide who improve government in their local communities. Their goal: a 21st century government that effectively and equitably serves all Americans.
Learn more at codeforamerica.org.
Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
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This Just In…
- Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
- RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
- Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
- Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day