Search warrant reveals Prince obtained prescription drugs through confidant

Carla Harmon
April 18, 2017

The documents said Prince did not have any prescriptions, including for fentanyl. Did he know what he was taking?

No one has been charged in connection with his death, but authorities say the investigation is still open and active.

Investigators have said they are most concerned with who obtained the fentanyl, and have yet to charge anyone in Prince's death.

Fentanyl is the strongest painkiller on the market, estimated to be at least 50 times more potent than morphine and at least 30 times more potent than heroin.

According to search warrants unsealed Monday, authorities searched Paisley Park, cellphone records of Prince's associates, and Prince's emails to try to determine where he got the fentanyl that killed him.

Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died at the age of 57.

In practice, laws against prescribing drugs for someone under a false name are not usually enforced when a doctor intends to protect a celebrity's privacy, said Los Angeles attorney Ellyn Garofalo. Because Prince had no prescriptions issued in his name, investigators sought access to email servers to see if he purchased them via email, according to the documents.

Just six days earlier, Prince fell ill on a plane and made an emergency stop in IL as he was returning home from a concert in Atlanta. Also released today were search warrants and affidavits from Carver County Sheriff's Office, which is leading the investigation along with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Furthermore, Us Weekly reports that several prescription pills were hidden throughout Prince's estate in a search warrant that was conducted on the day he died. Some were in a suitcase labeled with a Prince alias, Peter Bravestrong, along with a page of handwritten lyrics to the 1987 hit "U Got the Look".

CNN's attempts to reach Johnson on Monday were not immediately successful. The newly unsealed documents give the clearest picture yet of Prince's struggle with opioid painkillers. Schulenberg told police that he met with Prince twice in the weeks before his death. According to the documents that were released, witnesses told authorities that Prince "recently had a history of going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of abuse of prescription medication".

The detective noted that "interviews with those who were at Paisley Park the morning Prince was found deceased have provided inconsistent and, at times, contradictory statements".

Just six days before he died, Prince fell ill on a plane and made an emergency stop in IL as he returned from a gig in Atlanta.

It was nearly a year since Prince died of an accidental drug overdose. He admitted to detectives that he was carrying pills for which he did not have a prescription - chiefly buprenorphine, which is used to treat addiction - but said he would not have given them to Prince without a doctor's authorization.

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