October 5, 2018
A former Rice University football player is charged with causing the death of Blain Padgett, a player he sold pills with an opioid 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.
Stuart “Mooch” Mouchantaf, 25, is charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing death, which carries a penalty of five to 99 years or life in prison.
“Users better beware that even a spec of this drug can kill you,” Ogg said. “And dealers, you are on notice that if your product kills people, you will be prosecuted for causing a death, not just dealing drugs.”
Padgett, 21, was found dead in his bedroom by fellow players after failing to show up for practice in March, 2018.
Houston Police investigators determined that Padgett bought pills from Mouchantaf that Padgett believed were Hydrocodone, but actually contained Carfentanil, according to court papers filed by prosecutors.
"I want to commend our homicide investigators and other personnel in our department who identified and arrested a suspect whose actions in selling this poison contributed to Blain Padgett's death ... a young man who had such a bright future ahead of him, “ Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
“We hope this arrest, thanks in large part to our strong partnership with DA Kim Ogg's office, sends a message that if you are or are intending to sell opioids or Carfentanil in the Houston-Harris County area, we will find you and bring you to justice," Acevedo said.
Carfentanil was originally made as an elephant tranquilizer and a lethal amount is so miniscule that it is invisible to the human eye.
“What the public, parents and teenagers need to understand, is that it is increasingly difficult to buy pharmaceutical-grade pills on the streets,” said Assistant District Attorney Paul Fortenberry, who is chief of the Major Narcotics Division . “The purchaser of these pills assumes they are legitimate, but they are actually tricked with potentially deadly consequences.”
“Buyers need to understand that when they buy these pills on the streets instead of pharmacies, they are literally playing Russian Roulette,” Fortenberry continued. “These pills look like the real deal, but they in fact contain far more dangerous than even cocaine or heroin and are far less expensive.”