It’s likely that Prince had no idea he was taking pills that contained the highly lethal, highly addictive opioid fentanyl.
It’s also likely no one close to him knew that either.
And the amount in his system at the time of his death outpaced that of a cancer patient with a doctor-ordered patch.
Federal prosecutors announced on Thursday, April 19, that no charges would be file in the death of multi-platinum performer, almost two years to the day since he died. The death has been ruled an accidental drug overdose, officially.
Also official: Michael Schulenberg, the doctor who prescribed the painkiller before the singer’s death on April 21, 2016, has agreed to a settlement of $30,000 to address civil charges the prescription was illegal.
Turns out, The Purple One thought he was taking Vicodin, according to Carver County Attorney Mark Metz.
ABC News reports Metz indicated police were unable to definitively figure out who provided the pills – fake Vicodin laced with fentanyl – that proved fatal to Prince, even after an “intensive investigation.”
And here’s the sad truth: “Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” Metz said, according to Variety. At the time of his death, Prince thought he was taking Vicodin. “There is no evidence that any person associated with Prince knew he had counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.”
Just like that, the investigation is closed. No charges are, can be or will be filed. His death will go unprosecuted. No one will be held responsible.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office said “federal prosecutors have so far received no credible evidence that would lead to any federal criminal charges. A law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case said it is now inactive pending the uncovering of additional evidence or witnesses.”
Prince’s autopsy, released earlier, “revealed so much fentanyl in Prince’s system that it would have been fatal for anyone, regardless of their size or drug tolerance.”
Further: “According to a federal search warrant application unsealed early Thursday, a medical examiner found 67 micrograms of fentanyl per liter of blood in Prince’s system — more than 22 times what would be found in a cancer patient who regularly wore a pharmaceutical fentanyl patch.”