Lottery winner used $3M prize to fund meth ring, feds say
New York Post, July 28, 2016
He’s going from big winner to the big house.
A Walter White wannabe is facing a maximum of life in prison for investing part of his $3 million lottery winnings into a crystal methamphetamine drug ring, federal officials said Tuesday.
Ronnie Music Jr., 45, who won the lump sum in a local scratch-off lottery game in February 2015, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Georgia to the federal drug trafficking and gun charges last week.
Investigators revealed that after he hit it big, Music conspired with others to buy and sell kilograms of crystal meth in Ware County, Ga., and elsewhere.
It was determined that Music was a source of supply for the meth that he purchased for resale with his own lottery winnings, officials said.
His co-conspirators were caught trying to sell about 11 pounds of the drug, which has an estimated street value that exceeds $500,000, according to federal prosecutors.
Music won the top lottery prize with the instant game 100x The Money, which he bought from a Waycross gas station.
“I couldn’t believe it, and I still don’t believe it yet,” Music told Fox affiliate WBRC-TV at the time. “I buy tickets every once in a while.”
Music, a former maintenance supervisor, and his wife planned on saving a portion of the winnings, according to the TV station.
Federal agents seized more than $1 million worth of meth, an arsenal of firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, multiple cars and more than $600,000 in cash as part of the case.
“Defendant Music decided to test his luck by sinking millions of dollars of lottery winnings into the purchase and sale of crystal meth. As a result of his unsound investment strategy, Music now faces decades in a federal prison,” US Attorney Ed Tarver said.