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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Grand Rapids Man Guilty Of Fatal Distribution Of Heroin And Fentanyl Causing Two Deaths

          KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN – On January 13, 2022, a jury found Mustafa Deville Reynolds, 23, of Grand Rapids, guilty of distributing heroin and fentanyl that caused the deaths of two men in Grand Rapids, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. The two victims were 25 and 27 years old at the time of their deaths.

          The evidence at trial showed that the victims were found by their roommates, unresponsive, in the early morning hours of August 21, 2019 – just hours apart from one another. After being transported to the hospital, both men subsequently died from fentanyl and heroin toxicity. Detectives with the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) found cell phone evidence 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.” The jury also convicted Reynolds for the sale to the undercover detective. A forensic chemist with the Michigan State Police testified at trial that one of the baggies of “heroin” that Reynolds sold to the undercover officer was mostly fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine.

          “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,” said U.S. Attorney Birge. “Drug dealers in West Michigan are on notice: if you sell heroin and fentanyl, your product not only causes misery, it causes death. Law enforcement is committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases to ensure that dealers who sell drugs resulting in death are brought to justice,” added U.S. Attorney Birge.

          “This case tragically shows the dangers of fentanyl in communities throughout Michigan,” said Kent R. Kleinschmidt, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Division.  “While we mourn the lives of those lost, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to protect our communities from the dangers of illicit drug trafficking and bring justice to those who seek to profit at the expense of human life.”

          “The opioid epidemic in Michigan has claimed far too many lives. The Grand Rapids Police Department is committed to seeking out those who sell heroin and fentanyl in the West Michigan area. We are thankful for the partnership of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office in helping make Grand Rapids a safer community,” said Grand Rapids Police Department Lieutenant Jonathan Wu.

          Reynolds will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney this spring. He faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and up to life in prison for each distribution of heroin and fentanyl that resulted in death, and up to 20 years in prison for selling heroin and fentanyl to the undercover detective. The Grand Rapids Police Department Vice Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated this case.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan McGraw and Alexis Sanford.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated January 18, 2022