You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Grand Rapids Man Sentenced To Over 27 Years In Federal Prison For Distributing Fatal Heroin And Fentanyl That Caused Two Deaths

          KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN – On May 10, 2022, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney sentenced Mustafa Deville Reynolds, 24, of Grand Rapids, to 328 months (27 years and 4 months) in prison for distributing heroin and fentanyl that caused the deaths of two Grand Rapids men, announced U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. 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. After initially being transported to the hospital, both men subsequently 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. Specifically, 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 was deserving of 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 Totten. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases to ensure that drug dealers who cause death are brought to justice,” added Totten.

          “This sentence should serve notice to drug dealers that you will be held responsible for the lives you ruin and end. With the help of our law enforcement partners around the globe, we will continue investigating cases like these and follow the supply chain as far as necessary,” said Kent Kleinschmidt, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Division.

          “The illegal distribution of heroin and fentanyl continue to have devastating effects on our community,” said Grand Rapids Police Department Lieutenant Jonathan Wu.  “The sentencing of Mustafa Reynolds highlights the successful partnership between the Grand Rapids Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We are thankful for the dedication and hard work of all the officers, detectives, agents, and attorneys that worked together to bring this case to a successful conclusion. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting those in our communities that profit off the addiction of others,” added Wu.

          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.

###

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated May 12, 2022