Bill strengthening penalties for fentanyl distribution signed into law

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Fentanyl overdoses are killing on average ten people every day in North Carolina.

Now, the state is working to reduce drug distribution, specifically fentanyl-related incidents.

Senate Bill 189, Fentanyl Drug Offense and Related Changes, was recently passed by the General Assembly and has been signed into law by Governor Cooper.

The bill strengthens a current law related to the distribution of controlled substances when they result in a personโ€™s death. A controlled substance can be any form of opium or opiate, cocaine, methamphetamine, or any combination of these substances, including fentanyl.

The bill was designed to increase penalties for North Carolinaโ€™s Death by Distribution law. If a person dies as a result of a controlled substance, the person who delivered the substance to the victim will be punished as a Class C felony, which results in automatic prison time. More penalties may follow if the person who distributed the controlled substance acts with malice or has a previous conviction for a controlled substance violation.

Proof of sale to the victim is also no longer required to hold a person responsible for killing someone, a distributor could simply give someone the drug to be charged.

Read the full article and watch the video on the WECT News 6 website.