A man who was recently arrested at Cher's house was reportedly busted for selling fentanyl, the same drug that killed Prince.
According to The Blast, Donovan Ruiz was arrested at Cher's mansion where he was living, as he is the son of Cher's longtime assistant.
Law enforcement officers with the Ventura County Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit who have been investigating Ruiz say that they believe he may have sold the drug to someone on Thousand Oaks who later died after consuming it.
When police executed a search warrant at the house, they reportedly seized evidence they say is related to Ruiz selling the "illegal controlled substances."
Ruiz is being charged with illegally selling a controlled substance, but it's also possible that additional charges — or "charge enhancements" — related to the overdose death could be filed.
Sources close to the situation have reportedly said that Ruiz is a "good person" who would "never sell drugs that would kill someone." The court set his bond at $500,000 but it is currently not known if he will be bailed out ahead of his hearing in October.
As previously mentioned, fentanyl is the drug that Prince's death was attributed to, as well as the death of Tom Petty.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) "Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids."
"In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze. Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash," the agency goes to explain.
Regarding why the drug is dangerous, NIDA says that "High doses of opioids, especially potent opioids such as fentanyl, can cause breathing to stop completely, which can lead to death."
"The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains fentanyl," the agency continues. "Fentanyl sold on the street can be mixed with heroin or cocaine, which markedly amplifies its potency and potential dangers."
For more information on fentanyl abuse, please visit the website for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.