The U.S. Department of Justice published a release on Wednesday detailing the arrest of an alleged drug dealer who goes by the name of New Jerzey Devil on his various social media accounts.
Michael Jones is the 24-year-old man behind JerzeyD3vil999, a SoundCloud account with just shy of 2,800 followers. Following an ongoing investigation, he is now being charged with the distribution and possession of heroin and fentanyl.
DEA agent says emo rap glorifies opioid abuse
The release quotes Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt in what appears to be a condemnation of the emo rap subgenre.
“This investigation led us into the underbelly of emo rap and its glorification of opioid use,” the agent said, speaking on Jones’ arrest.
While neither Hunt nor the DEA provided additional clarification on the relationship claimed to exist between opioid use and emo rap, it is clear that the agent is referring to Hunt’s online persona.
— JerzeyD3vil999👹🖤🦇🥀🏰🌈 (@RealJerzeyDevil) February 7, 2018
In what is often a trope of the hip hop subgenre of ‘emo rap,’ Hunt’s online presence readily makes references to suicide, praised alienation, and drug consumption. However, without further comment from the DEA, it is unclear how the genre’s alleged “glorification” of opioid consumption relates to the widespread crisis.
In the U.S., more than 115 people die each day from opioid overdose. This includes the consumption of heroin, prescription pain relievers, and fentanyl.
Jones faces a maximum sentence of life in prison following overdose death
According to the Department of Justice’s publication, Jones is being charged following an alleged link to the death of Diana Haikova, who was found dead in December of last year as the result of an overdose.
The publication proceeds to say that law enforcement agents identified Jones as the person who supplied Haikova with fentanyl and heroin. It further alleges that Jones continued to distribute heroin months later in February 2018.
While sentencing will ultimately be determined by the judge handling the case if Jones is found guilty, the publication does make mention of the maximum and minimum sentence that he is facing.
The maximum sentence ahead of Jones is life in prison, while the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years if he is convicted of distributing the heroin and fentanyl that led to Haikova’s death.