Georgia Man Sank Lotto Fortune into Meth Business

Georgia Man Sank Lotto Fortune into Meth Business

By Seth Ferranti 08/01/16

Ronnie Music Jr. won a multi-million dollar lotto jackpot, then decided to test his luck again by investing in methamphetamine.

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Georgia Man Sank Lotto Fortune into Meth Business

Ronnie Music Jr. was in federal court earlier this month where he pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood. In February 2015, the 45-year-old ex-con won $3 million in the Georgia Lottery’s "100X the Money" game. After purchasing the scratch-off ticket from a local deli and collecting his winnings, he then proceeded to invest the money in an ill-advised methamphetamine business—an illicit venture that authorities quickly uncovered.

“I buy tickets every once in a while,” Music said in a Georgia Lottery statement at the time he won. “I couldn’t believe it, and I still don’t believe it yet.” It's even harder to believe that he took his legitimate funds and made them illegitimate, especially because criminals usually work it the other way around. Music pled guilty to conspiring with others to possess and distribute kilograms of crystal meth in Ware County, Georgia, about 240 miles southeast of Atlanta, and elsewhere. The drug venture unraveled when his co-conspirators were busted selling 11 pounds of meth, worth over $500,000, and investigators identified Music as the source of the drugs.

“Defendant Music decided to test his luck by sinking millions of dollars of lottery winnings into the purchase and sale of crystal meth,” U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver, of the Southern District of Georgia, said in a press release. “As a result of his unsound investment strategy, Music now faces decades in a federal prison.” Investigating agents confiscated over $1 million worth of meth, a large cache of firearms and ammunition, several vehicles and $600,000 in cash.

“Dude is crazy for real,” an ex-con, who served time in the feds for a crack conspiracy, tells The Fix. “I mean, you sell drugs to make money and this dude had money and he used it to get himself caught up in an indictment? That is crazy for real. He was doing it backward. Usually drug dealers are trying to buy winning lottery tickets for cash to make their drug money legit. It's a laundering scheme. This dude did it the other way around. Really stupid if you ask me.”

The case was a joint law enforcement investigation that included agents from the ATF, DEA and the Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team. 

Music faces a possible life sentence when he goes in front of the judge again to get his time. 

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After landing on the US Marshals Top-15 Most Wanted list and being sentenced to a 25 year sentence in federal prison for a first-time, nonviolent LSD offense, Seth built a writing and journalism career from his cell block. His raw portrayals of prison life and crack era gangsters graced the pages of Don DivaHoopshype and VICE. From prison he established Gorilla Convict, a true-crime publisher and website that documents the stories that the mainstream media can’t get with books like Prison Stories and Street Legends. His story has been covered by The Washington PostThe Washington Times, and Rolling Stone.

Since his release in 2015 he’s worked hard to launch GR1ND Studios, where true crime and comics clash. GR1ND Studios is bringing variety to the comic shelf by way of the American underground. These groundbreaking graphic novels tell the true story of prohibition-era mobsters, inner-city drug lords, and suburban drug dealers. Seth is currently working out of St. Louis, Missouri, writing for The FixVICEOZY, Daily Beast, and Penthouse and moving into the world of film. Check out his first short, Easter Bunny Assassin at sethferranti.com. You can find Seth on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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