‘CEO of Purple Drank’ with big hip-hop ties goes to prison

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The self-styled “CEO of Purple Drank” may have taken his last sip of the good life for a while.

Harrison Garcia — whose Instagram page is peppered with garish displays of wealth and his love for prescription cough syrup mixed with soda — was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a federal judge in Miami on Friday, four months after he was convicted by jurors of armed drug trafficking, the Miami Herald reports.

“It is the kind of conduct that is very much a scourge on our community,” US Judge Patricia Seitz said.

Jurors heard testimony during Garcia’s trial in April that he admitted to selling “large amount of narcotics” to rapper Lil Wayne and received a $15,000 payment from singer Chris Brown for drugs, including soda mixed with prescription-strength promethazine with codeine – better known on the street as “lean,” “purple drank” or “sizzurp.”

Garcia, however, told a judge he was merely a user of the drug and not a dealer during a pre-trial hearing in January, despite his flashy Instagram account with more than 33,000 followers and photos of diamond-encrusted pendants of a purple drink spilling out of a cup, large amounts of cash and expensive sports cars.

“I had an image to portray, to boost up my followers,” Garcia said. “I guess it’s just the music industry.”

Garcia also faces state racketeering charges in Broward County, where he’s suspected of paying a crew of young men to commit pharmacy burglaries from Plantation to Homestead.

Attorney Gus Lage, who represented Garcia in his federal case, said the sentence will be appealed.

“Given that Harrison went to trial, refused to cooperate and that draconian minimum mandatory sentences exist which made 30 years and one day the lowest sentence that could be imposed under the circumstances, we were pleased that the court and the government agreed to the imposition of the lowest sentence available,” Lage told the Miami Herald.

Garcia, for his part, apologized to his parents and the judge during Friday’s brief hearing.

“Hopefully, I learn from this,” he said.

Prescription cough syrup mixed with soda gained popularity in hip-hop circles in part by rapper Pimp C, who died in 2008 as a result of an accidental overdose triggered by codeine combined with a pre-existing sleep condition, MTV reported.

Lil Wayne has also frequently mused on the drug, and drank an “extraordinary amount of lean” before having multiple seizures aboard a private jet last year, TMZ reported.


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