Entertainers Chris Brown (27) and Lil Wayne (35) have been tied to a federal drug investigation involving Florida-based Music Producer Harrison “Cuban Harry” Garcia. Brown and Wayne have not been charged with any crimes. However, their names were mentioned as evidence that they were purchasers of illegal narcotics from Garcia during his now-finalized, trial. Garcia was convicted Monday, April 10th on five felonies that could land him in prison for life.
It’s no secret that Codeine in conjunction with Promethazine (the liquid opiate used to treat pain and nausea as a cough medicine), has been the drug of choice for a certain group of entertainers for some time now. The thick syrup was first popularized as a sludgy sedative that matched perfectly with the slowed-down late DJ Screw mixtapes that ruled the Houston streets in the late 90’s. Fast-forward to modern-day, the drug has been championed by musicians from all parts of the country, and has served as the sound track to trap music. However, like most drugs, Codeine is incredibly dangerous when not taken properly. In 2000, the aforementioned early syrup adopter, DJ Screw died from a codeine overdose, as well as a mixture of other drugs. Hip Hop legend and one half southern rap pioneering group UGK, Pimp C died from the drug in 2007. Also, Rappers Rick Ross and Lil Wayne (whose signature has become carrying around a Styrofoam double cup of the drug) have survived violent death-defying seizures, which have been rumored to be symptom from abusing the drug.
However despite its obvious danger, “Lean or Sizzurp” (as it is commonly refereed to) remains a fixture in popular modern urban culture. It has come to a point that Lean dealers have become celebrities in their own right. With the proliferation of social media, drug dealers proudly post a trove of Lean bottles, Marijuana, and guns on their Instagram pages, leaving an easy pile of visual evidence for police and prosecutes alike. One of these Instagram celebs is Harrison Garcia (26). Authorities took notice of Garcia’s high-flying lifestyle that he promoted on Instagram. Under the username “Muhammad_A_Lean,” (a wordplay on Muhammad Ali and the aforementioned slang term Lean) Garcia showed off expensive cars, jewels, and there are photos of him purporting to have access to “po up,” which is another one of the many names for the drug. Garcia’s Instagram feed often featured pictures of rappers and celebrities, which he claimed he was working on music with.
Little did Garcia know, that police were investigating his role as a drug dealer to the stars and using his photos as clues to his clientele. This lead to Garcia’s arrest on federal drug charges in 2016 and a subsequent trial on charges of racketeering, grand theft, illegally selling prescription-strength syrup of promethazine with codeine and trafficking in illegal drugs. Also, his case was added to pending trials of three men and a woman already facing prosecution for dozens of pharmacy burglaries in Florida, according to CBS Miami.
Under Florida Statute 893.135, drug trafficking is defined as the intentional sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, possession or transporting a specific amount of a controlled substance. The minimum amount that results in trafficking charges differs with each drug. For example:
- Cannabis: 25 pounds or 300 plants
- Cocaine: 28 grams
- Hydrocodone: 14 grams
- LSD (acid): 1 gram
- MDMA (Ecstasy): 10 grams
- Oxycodone: 7 grams
Possession of these amounts of these drugs are sufficient to give rise to drug trafficking penalties in Florida. Keep in mind, that these amounts are the minimums to justify these charges. As the amounts involved exceed these minimums, the mandatory minimum fines and prison sentences drastically increase. According to Florida Statute Section 893.15, trafficking Codeine and Promthazine are equivalent to selling heroin, because of the similar effects and addictive qualities of the drug. “Trafficking in Heroin” charges are all first-degree felony offenses punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison.
During Garcia’s trial, a Florida courtroom heard federal agents testify that text messages sent between Garcia and associates, concerning the drugs. According to the Miami Herald, Garcia bragged about delivering drugs to Lil Wayne, calling him by name. In another exchange, Garcia shows a screenshot of a $15k bank deposit made on Chris Brown’s behalf, stating specifically in a text message that the deposit was for “drugs, lean and sh***”.
Wayne and Brown have not been charged with any drug charges in connection with the case and most likely will not be. Rather, the entertainers are being mentioned in the case by the prosecutors to show the brazen attitude of Garcia who blatantly bragged about selling drugs to celebrities. Also, prosecutors are attempting to show the copious amount of money that Garcia has received as a result of his alleged drug operation. Ted Mastos, Garcia’s attorney, insisted his client was merely a “young, foolish man who got caught up in the rap world, drugs, the glamour,” according to the Herald. The jurors did not buy Garcia’s defense. Garcia was convicted of five felony charges and will be sentenced on June 3rd. Regardless of what Garcia’s sentence is, it is certain that both Brown and Wayne are hoping the media attention dissipates quickly, as they are both facing separate legal situations of their own.