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Dealer pleads guilty to distributing fentanyl-laced pills that caused Mac Miller’s fatal overdose

A man pleaded guilty Monday to distributing the fentanyl-laced pills that caused rapper Mac Miller’s fatal overdose in 2018, according to a plea agreement filed in California. Stephen Andrew Walter pleaded guilty to one count of distributing fentanyl. 

On September 4, 2018, Walter told a runner to distribute counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained the synthetic drug fentanyl, according to the plea agreement. That runner gave the pills to Miller’s dealer, who provided them to Miller, the document said. Three days later, he died of what a coroner later described as a “mixed drug toxicity” of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol. 

The plea agreement states that Walter knew the pills “contained fentanyl or some other federally controlled substance,” and knew they would be given to the dealer. It also says Miller “would not have died from an overdose but for the fentanyl contained in the pills.” 

Mac Miller
Mac Miller in 2014.

Chelsea Lauren/WireImage/Getty


Walter now faces a 20-year maximum sentence for his role in the fentanyl distribution and a fine of up to $1 million. The alleged runner and the dealer have also been charged. 

Miller, who was born Malcolm James McCormick, made a name for himself in the independent rap scene beginning in 2010. After two chart-topping albums, he signed with Warner Records in 2014.  Just before his death, Miller had released his fifth studio album and was preparing to tour. 

The rapper and producer spoke often about his struggle to stay sober. In May 2018, he hit a light pole while under the influence, an experience he said “needed to happen” to change his perspective on life. 

“It just seems exhausting to always be battling something … to always be battling for what you think your image is supposed to be,” Miller told Vulture in one of his final interviews, published the day before his death. “You’re never going to be able to get anything across. It’s never gonna be the real … No one’s gonna ever really know me. You know what I mean? That’s okay. The people that have the best chance of knowing me, that would like to, would just be by listening to my music. Even friends that I’ve lost touch with, if they ask how I’ve been, I’m like, “That’s the best way to know how I’m doing.”

In 2018, he was posthumously nominated for his first Grammy for his last album “Swimming.” 

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