Jailed rap star Kodak Black scored a legal victory Friday when a Florida judge dismissed his drug charge linked to his Dec. 7 arrest for possession of a substance deemed “cocaine” at the scene but was actually oxycodone through subsequent lab testing. Black, whose legal name is Bill Kapri, submitted a prescription for the oxycodone to the court prior to the ruling. Prosecutors tried, but failed, to convince the court that more was needed to substantiate the script.
“[Prosecutors] do not refute or negate the material fact that the defendant had an oxycodone prescription filled by a pharmacy. Instead, the state merely asserts that the defendant has the burden of providing additional evidence regarding the prescription drug he was given. The state, however, does not allege or demonstrate that the prescription obtained by the defendant on July 19, 2022 was not valid or was illegally obtained,” Broward County Judge Barbara Duffy wrote in her ruling.
“I am always glad to see a court follow the rule of law on a case. This case was one that should not have been filed. I tried to explain that to the Broward State Attorney’s Office to no avail,” Kapri’s defense lawyer Brad Cohen said in a text to Rolling Stone. Cohen said his next goal is getting his client out of custody. It’s a complicated process because the Dec. 7 arrest triggered the revocation of Kapri’s bond in a separate Broward County drug case in which he’s pleaded not guilty, as well as the possible revocation of his federal supervised release stemming from his 2019 conviction for making a false statement during a firearms purchase.
In court filings leading up to the Friday ruling, prosecutors argued that Kapri only provided “a printout” of his 2022 prescription for oxycodone, and that wasn’t enough. They said the oxy recovered during the arrest two months ago “was not properly labeled to indicate that possession was by a valid prescription,” and that attempts to reach the doctor linked to the prescription were unsuccessful. “The state does not know the manner in which the prescription was forwarded to the pharmacy, nor the validity of the hard copy of the written prescription itself,” the filing from Assistant State Attorney Jonathan Goodman stated.
Cohen said prosecutors were trying to “shift the burden” unfairly. “The state must prove the pills are not connected to a prescription,” not the other way around, he wrote. “It is not unusual for a traveler with a valid prescription to separate a pill from a prescription bottle for later consumption,” he continued, citing case law. He said Kapri “used the script as directed,” which was to “take as needed.”
The official arrest report, obtained by Rolling Stone, noted that Kapri willingly advised Plantation Police Officer Adam Stern that the white substance found in his possession at the time of his arrest was Percocet. Despite that assurance, Stern claimed in his report that the substance “field tested positive on scene for cocaine.” Stern further alleged Kapri tried to hide the powder after he was found asleep at the wheel of his black Bentley in a community neighboring Fort Lauderdale. Stern also took the step of going to federal court on Dec. 19 and testifying against Kapri there, leading a judge to order the rapper’s detainment pending a larger hearing on revocation of his federal supervised release.
When lab tests eventually came back negative for cocaine, the Broward County State Attorney charged Kapri with illegal oxycodone possession instead. “Speaking generally and not specifically about this case, there is a detailed legal process required to verify the validity of prescriptions,” Broward County State Attorney spokesperson Paula McMahon said in a prior statement to Rolling Stone. She stressed that prosecutors only filed charges after the lab test results were received. “Police arrested him on suspected cocaine possession. Our office did not file that charge,” McMahon said.
Cohen said Friday he’s working on getting Kapri’s remaining charges of evidence tampering and double parking dismissed as well, largely based on the arresting officer’s “incorrect statements” and testimony. “The cop says crack cocaine, and it turned out to be oxycodone. I don’t know how an error like that happens. I’ve never seen in my career of 27 years where an officer tested an oxycodone pill, and it came back positive for cocaine. This officer was either grossly neglectful, incompetent or a liar. It’s one of those three,” Cohen previously told Rolling Stone. “I’m going to ask for an internal investigation of this officer and his testimony, which is incredulous.”
He also argues Kapri wasn’t actually blocking traffic when he stopped outside a friend’s residence near the Fort Lauderdale Country Club and that the first officer on scene failed to “blow his horn or otherwise request” that Kapri move his vehicle before initiating the encounter.
Kapri, 26, was about halfway through a three-year federal prison sentence for falsifying paperwork used to buy weapons at a Miami gun store when then-President Donald Trump commuted the sentence on his last day in office in January 2021. The commutation, supported by Gucci Mane, Lil Pump and Lil Yachty, noted Kodak’s philanthropic endeavors, including his penchant for handing out school supplies and food to Florida residents in need.
In a separate Broward County case, Kapri is fighting charges he was trafficking oxycodone when he was pulled over in July 2022 with white tablets and nearly $75,000 cash in his vehicle. Prosecutors allege he was trafficking between 14 and 25 grams of oxycodone. A defense motion for dismissal of that case argues authorities mishandled evidence and that some of the tablets tested as acetaminophen. Kapri was out on bond in that case when he was ordered to enter a drug rehab facility for 30 days last year because he tested positive for fentanyl on Feb. 8, 2023.