GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been found guilty of federal charges for selling the illegal drugs that killed two men in Grand Rapids in 2019.
Mustafa Deville Reynolds, 23, of Grand Rapids, was convicted Thursday of distributing heroin and fentanyl, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The charges stem from the deaths of two men, ages 25 and 27, who died after overdosing on Aug. 21, 2019.
The Grand Rapids Police Department said it found evidence that Reynolds sold the drugs directly to one of the men the day before he overdosed. Police say Reynolds also sold drugs to a middleman who ultimately sold them to the second man who died.
On Aug. 27, 2019, police set up a sting. They say that while selling drugs to an undercover officer, Reynolds said, “Be careful with that one. Don’t do too much.”
When police tested the drugs that the undercover officer bought, they found that though Reynolds said it was heroin, it was actually mostly fentanyl, a much more powerful opioid.
Fentanyl is often cut in to heroin and the people buying it generally don’t know. In Kent County between April 2020 and April 2021, 90% of all opioid overdoses involved fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is extremely potent and the deadliest of drugs found on the street. Individuals who order heroin are increasingly receiving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is cheaper and easier to produce. Unfortunately, users who ingest fentanyl often do so with deadly consequences,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said in a Tuesday statement. “Drug dealers in West Michigan are on notice: if you sell heroin and fentanyl, your product not only causes misery, it causes death.”
Reynolds faces between 20 years and life in prison for selling the drugs that killed the two men, as well as up to 20 years for selling the drugs to the undercover officer. Sentencing proceedings will be held in the spring.