Stuart Mouchantaf, a former defensive lineman at Rice, has been charged with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance in connection with the death of Owls’ defensive end Blain Padgett.
Padgett was found dead in his apartment in March after he failed to show for a football workout. In June, the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office in Houston determined that the 21-year-old’s death was caused by the toxic effects of carfentanil, described as being designed originally as an elephant tranquilizer.
Authorities allege that Mouchantaf sold Padgett the pills that directly led to his death.
“Buyers need to understand that when they buy these pills on the streets instead of pharmacies, they are literally playing Russian Roulette,” Assistant District Attorney Paul Fortenberry told KTRK-TV.
“These pills look like the real deal, but they in fact are far more dangerous than even cocaine or heroin and are far less expensive.”
The charge Mouchantaf is facing a second-degree felony that carries a penalty ranging from five years to 99 years, or life in prison.
Padgett, who underwent surgery a few months before his death, believed the pill he was taking was Hydrocodone. Carfentanil, the drug the pill Padgett took, reportedly is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
In 2016, the 6-5, 250-pound Padgett led Rice’s defensive linemen with 41 tackles and was second on the team 5 1/2 tackles for losses. Last season, he played in only three games before going down with a shoulder injury.
The 25-year-old Mouchantaf played at Rice from 2012-15.