Grand Rapids man goes to prison for drug distribution resulting in 2 deaths

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 12:52 PM EDT
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WLUC) - Mustafa Deville Reynolds, 24, of Grand Rapids, was sentenced to 27 years and 4 months in prison for distributing heroin and fentanyl that caused the deaths of two Grand Rapids men.

Reynolds was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney on May 10.

The two victims were 25 and 27 years old at the time of their deaths in August 2019. In the early morning hours of August 21, 2019, the victims were found by their roommates, unresponsive, just hours apart from one another. They were taken to the hospital where both men eventually died from fentanyl and heroin toxicity.

Detectives with the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) found evidence on cell phones that showed in the evening of August 20, 2019, Reynolds sold the fatal drugs directly to one of the victims, and that Reynolds sold the fatal drugs through a middleman to the other victim.

One week later, on August 27, 2019, Reynolds sold a mixture of heroin and fentanyl to an undercover GRPD detective. During the sale, Reynolds pointed to the drugs and told the detective, “Be careful with that one. Don’t do too much.” Other evidence recovered from cell phones showed that Reynolds referred to the drugs he sold as “fire,” and used other individuals to “test” the potency of the lethal substances.

In January 2022, a jury found Reynolds guilty of all three crimes: distributing heroin and fentanyl that resulted in the deaths of the two victims, and distributing heroin and fentanyl to the undercover detective. According to evidence admitted at trial, the victims thought they were buying heroin, but the heroin was laced with, or was mostly fentanyl.

A forensic chemist with the Michigan State Police testified that one of the baggies of alleged heroin that Reynolds sold to the undercover detective was predominately fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine. At sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued that Reynolds’s comments to the undercover GRPD detective about the potency of the substance proved Reynolds knew he was selling deadly drugs, and therefore deserved a significant sentence.

“Today’s sentence ensures accountability for the distribution of deadly drugs. Like the rest of the United States, Michigan remains in the midst of an opioid crisis. Individuals who order heroin are increasingly receiving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is cheaper, easier to produce, and often lethal,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten.

The Grand Rapids Police Department Vice Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan McGraw and Alexis Sanford.

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