A Rhode Island-based rap artist was sentenced earlier this month in Providence federal court for trafficking heroin and fentanyl. Michael Persaud (stage name Montana Millz) will serve three years in prison as a result of the conviction.
In October 2017, he pleaded guilty in October 2017 to several charges in the case: five counts of fentanyl distribution and one count each for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and distribution of heroin, NBC Los Angeles reported.
He reportedly sold about 22 grams of fentanyl and approximately two grams of heroin to an undercover cop in East Providence several times in a four-month period in the October 2016-January 2017 time frame, AP explained.
Persaud’s music includes the songs “Sell Drugsz” and “Feds Watching.”
Law enforcement officers with the East Providence police force and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force executed a search warrant in March at the home of the mother of one of the rapper’s kids. At that residence, they reportedly seized 44 grams of fentanyl that was stashed there. Persaud was arrested following the investigation.
Rhode Island prosecutors apparently sought a six-year sentence for Persaud, 30. Michael Persaud/Montana Millz’s lawyer described the 36-month penalty, however, as “fair and just.”
In November 2016, Persaud was arrested for allegedly selling 70 bags of heroin for $300 to an undercover cop in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. A female accomplice was also taken into custody at that time. Cops raided their motel room and allegedly found 70 grams of bulk heroin there that would fill about 2,300 bags, amounting to a street value of $11,500. He was convicted in August 2017 on the Pennsylvania charges and is awaiting sentencing there.
Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid, usually prescribed by doctors for pain management, that unfortunately has become a major element in the country’s deadly opioid epidemic. Rock superstar Prince is said to have died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl in April 2016. In October 2017, Tom Petty, another rock legend, passed away from an accidental drug overdose. The autopsy report revealed various meds in his system, including fentanyl.
Separately, according to Newsweek, drug dealers across the country previously mixed heroin and fentanyl together to increase the potency of their product, but the trend now is to sell fentanyl as heroin. “Drug dealers can make more money selling fentanyl (diluted with caffeine or quinine) than they can with fentanyl-spiked heroin.” The New York Times reports that fentanyl-related abuse has contributed to making drug overdoses the leading cause of death for those in the under age 50 cohort in America.