An obscure SoundCloud rapper known as New Jerzey Devil, born Michael Jones, was arrested yesterday and charged with distributing heroin and fentanyl that resulted in the death last December of a 29-year-old woman named Diana Haikova in New York, according to a Justice Department press release. The arrest followed a joint investigation by the New York Police Department and Drug Enforcement Agency. In the release, DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt connected the tragic overdose to Jones’ alleged musical stylings.
“This investigation led us into the underbelly of emo rap and its glorification of opioid use,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt in a statement, in regard to Jones’ musical genre. – James J. Hunt
TMZ’s coverage of the arrest helped bolster the DEA’s characterization of Haikova’s death as connected to the emergent subgenre dubbed “emo rap.” The website reported that Jones was part of the GothBoiClique collective, which counted as a member one of the scene’s breakout stars, Lil Peep, who died of his own fentanyl and Xanax overdose last November. Citing anonymous law enforcement sources, TMZ wrote that Jones supplied Haikova the drugs that led to her fatal overdose while both were in Long Island, New York partying with Peep’s friends in the days following the “Awful Things” rapper’s funeral. (Peep’s memorial took place in Long Beach, New York.)