Select Page

Lots of people go to Los Angeles in pursuit of drug-fueled dreams of stardom, and not all of them come out alive.  Once the shock of a rising star’s overdose death passes, the questions begin about how the fatal overdose could have been prevented and whose responsibility it was to prevent it.  In some cases, California law treats providing drugs that caused a fatal overdose as a more serious crime than simply selling illegal drugs. 

One of the famous cases involves Cathy Smith, who supplied and administered the dose of cocaine and heroin that killed John Belushi in 1982.  Smith eventually pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and served a prison sentence in California in the mid-1980s. 

Whether a drug offense involving a fatal overdose is manslaughter or simply a drug offense depends on the circumstances.  If you are facing criminal charges for providing illegal drugs to someone, whether or not they overdosed, contact a Los Angeles drug crimes defense lawyer.

Accused Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Fentanyl

Malcolm James McCormick, better known by his stage name Mac Miller, died of an accidental drug overdose at his Studio City home in September 2018.  He was 26 years old, and his music career was flourishing.  An autopsy determined that the cause of death was an accidental overdose of cocaine, alcohol, and fentanyl.  The fentanyl came from counterfeit oxycodone pills that Miller purchased two days before his death; he did not know that the pills he was purchasing contained fentanyl.

In September 2019, police arrested three men in connection with Miller’s fatal overdose.  Miller had requested the pills that caused his overdose from Cameron Pettit.  Pettit ordered them from Stephen Walter, and at Pettit’s request, Ryan Reavis delivered the pills to Miller.  Pettit and Reavis have pleaded not guilty, and their trials will take place in early 2022. 

Walter, 48, was initially charged with two counts of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.  In October 2021, news outlets announced that Walter has accepted a plea deal.  Pursuant to the plea deal, Walter will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in exchange for having the other count dropped; the plea deal includes a 17-year prison sentence for Walter.  He is expected to enter his guilty plea at a Zoom hearing on November 8.  The court will set his sentencing hearing date after the plea hearing takes place. 

Some plea deals for drug conspiracy cases require the defendant to testify against other defendants accused of participating in the conspiracy, but the news outlets that have reported Walter’s plea deal did not say that he must testify against his co-defendants.

Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Drug Conspiracy Charges

A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for conspiracy to distribute, traffic, or manufacture illegal drugs.  Your initial consultation is always free, so contact our lawyers at Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.

Font Resize