A sad story that played out over the spring and on into the summer has taken another twist.
In early March, Rice defensive end Blain Padgett was found dead in his apartment after he failed to show for a football workout and a wellness check was performed. In late June, the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the 21-year-old’s death was caused by the toxic effects of carfentanil, which was described as being designed originally as an elephant tranquilizer.
Friday, it’s being reported that former Owls defensive lineman Stuart Mouchantaf has been charged with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance in connection to Padgett’s death. Authorities allege that it was Mouchantaf who sold Padgett the pills that directly led to his death.
The charge Mouchantaf is facing is a second-degree felony that carries a penalty ranging from five years to 99 years or life in prison.
Padgett, who had undergone surgery a few months before his death, believed the pill he was taking was Hydrocodone. Carfentanil, the drug the pill Padgett took was laced with, is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. KTRK-TV in Houston wrote that “[a] lethal amount of carfentanil is so small, it’s invisible to the human eye.”
“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 said according to the television station. “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 25-year-old Mouchantaf played at Rice from 2012-15 after beginning his collegiate career at Blinn College.
In 2016, the 6-5, 250-pound Padgett was second on the team in tackles for loss with 5½ and led all Owls defensive linemen with 41 tackles. He played in just three games last season before going down with a shoulder injury, while also playing in eight games as a true freshman in 2015.