Two new North Carolina laws change fentanyl fines, concealed carry rules

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Dozens of new laws are now in effect in North Carolina as of Dec 1.

Some deal with stricter fines for drug traffickers, while others deal with election law. WECT News took a closer look at two of them.

Senate Bill 41

Part of Senate Bill 41, introduced by State Senator Danny Britt Jr., is now in effect in North Carolina. The part of the law now in effect allows concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms to places of worship that also have schools.

See WECT web site for remainder of their conent regarding Senate Bill 41.

Senate Bill 189

“An act to increase the fine imposed on persons convicted of trafficking in heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil” will increase the fines for people convicted of drug trafficking who have between 4-14 grams of the substance on them.

The fine increase is from $50,000 to $500,000. That’s a 900% increase.

Barbara Walsh lost her daughter, Sophia, to fentanyl poisoning at just 24 years old. Sophia died after drinking fentanyl from a glass of water, but the family didn’t find that out until months after her death.

Walsh says she hopes the new law with an increased fine will be enough to curb traffickers from selling or distributing the lethal drug.

“I think that is a deterrent for people to think twice about trafficking fentanyl, and maybe it will save somebody’s life,” Walsh said.

While the new law can’t bring back her daughter, she hopes it could save others’ lives in the future.

“We’re paying it forward for unfortunately the eight people who die every day from fentanyl in North Carolina,” Walsh said.

The DEA reports that just one gram of fentanyl can kill 500 people.

Walsh founded the non-profit, Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina, after her daughter’s death. She works with families across the state who have lost a loved one to fentanyl and encourages those who want support to join.

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Fentanyl overdose reversal spray ‘standing by’ for every public school in Charlotte

With the White House charting action in schools nationwide to curb teen drug use and deaths, Charlotte-Mecklenburg leaders plan to stock opioid overdose-reversal medicine in hallways.

While there have been no documented fatal overdoses in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, some data suggests drug use among students is on the rise. Fentanyl — a synthetic opioid — is pervasive in street-bought drugs, experts say.

Naloxone, an overdose-reversal medicine (commonly called Narcan), will be available in every school, pending CMS board approval, Raynard Washington, Mecklenburg health director, told The Charlotte Observer this week.

With the White House charting action in schools nationwide to curb teen drug use and deaths, Charlotte-Mecklenburg leaders plan to stock fentanyl overdose-reversal medicine in hallways.

We are standing by ready to start,” he said.

The Observer first reported on the district’s plan to allow naloxone in schools in September.

Continue reading “Fentanyl overdose reversal spray ‘standing by’ for every public school in Charlotte”

‘Not my kid.’ How $7 pills get Charlotte teens hooked on fentanyl

The last bathroom stall on the left. An afternoon math class. The house across the street. This weekend’s party.

Students sent Debbie Dalton letters after she spoke to them about her son, who died after taking a line of fentanyl-laced cocaine in 2016. If schools let her in, she’s one of the only sources of education North Carolina teens get on fentanyl’s dangers.

Fentanyl is easy for teens to get — and, these days, it’s even harder to escape.

After losing his best friend to the very drugs the two of them would use together, one Charlotte teen shared his winding journey from an innocent swig of liquor to a dependency on $7 pills, posing as Percocets, that circulated through his school.

“I didn’t know who I was,” said 17-year-old Dylan Krebs, remembering the height of his addiction. “I had completely forgotten everything about me.”

Not only could he not help himself then, he says, but his parents and teachers seemed to have no idea. He says students sold illegal painkillers in classrooms and recalls only once a teacher at school warning teens of the dangers of drugs.

“Everything is laced,” officials have long warned, and one fentanyl pill — about 2 milligrams — with the potent opioid is enough to kill a person.

Continue reading “‘Not my kid.’ How $7 pills get Charlotte teens hooked on fentanyl”

‘No cap’: CMPD’s new fentanyl awareness campaign uses slang to reach young people

Fentanyl overdose deaths are up 20% from last year, police say. CMPD’s new campaign hopes to reach younger people through slang used by teens.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police launched a new fentanyl awareness campaign Thursday called, “No Cap, Those Pills are Sus,” designed to reduce overdose deaths that have been labeled a crisis in the Charlotte area

The campaign’s name uses slang in an effort to target young people and their families, according to CMPD. The main goal of this campaign is to prevent overdose deaths through education with younger people who are unaware of the risks of fentanyl. CMPD says it has seen a 20% increase in confirmed fentanyl overdoses this year compared to 2022. The majority of those deaths (60%) are people who were younger than 40. 

Read the article and watch the video on the WCNC website.

Deputies charge Newport woman with Hubert drug death

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A woman is accused by deputies of providing the drugs that led to the death of a man earlier this year here in the east.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said that Destiny Smith, 23, of Newport, was arrested November 2nd and charged with death by distribution of controlled substances.

It was back on January 13th that deputies responded to a home on Turtle Cove Boulevard in Hubert and found 46-year-old James Strickland dead.

Investigators said it was revealed that Smith provided the victim with drugs that tested positive for Fentanyl.

Officials said an autopsy revealed that Strickland died from fentanyl and ethanol toxicity.

Smith is being held in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond.

Read the article on the WITN web site.

Chapel Hill company working to develop vaccine to prevent fentanyl overdoses

After more than 4,000 people in North Carolina died last year from fentanyl, a Chapel Hill company has a plan to cut down on deadly overdoses.

A Chapel Hill company is developing an injectable drug to cut down on deadly overdoses after more than 4,000 people in North Carolina died last year from fentanyl.

Fentanyl is the number one killer of Americans ages 18 to 45, with opioids producing the worst drug crisis in the history of the United States.

Chapel Hill-based Cessation Therapeutics says its monoclonal antibody therapy, called CSX-1004, can block the dangerous effects of fentanyl.

“Fentanyl can get to the brain really quickly,” said Andy Barrett, chief scientific officer for Cessation Therapeutics. “And the brain is where it produces its pleasurable effects and its dangerous respiratory depression.”

Without any intervention, fentanyl can enter the bloodstream and travel easily to the brain – but the monoclonal antibody can bind to fentanyl in the blood and prevent it from crossing that blood brain barrier.

“It would block all of the effects of fentanyl for at least a month,” Barrett said.

Continue reading “Chapel Hill company working to develop vaccine to prevent fentanyl overdoses”

Biden White House Tells Schools to Stock Up on Narcan As Deadly Drugs Are Brought Over the Border

Border Patrol agents seized enough fentanyl in 2023 alone to kill every American citizen as the country grapples with the consequences of President Joe Biden’s open border policies. 

Now, the White House is urging schools to stock up on Narcan amid a surging number of fentanyl deaths among American children.

In a letter addressed to U.S. school officials, President Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urged administrators to begin keeping naloxone on hand and to train teachers on how to administer the drug if a student starts overdosing on or is poisoned by fentanyl.

In the midst of this fentanyl overdose epidemic, it is important to focus on measures to prevent youth drug use and ensure that every school has naloxone and has prepared its students and faculty to use it. Studies show that naloxone access can reduce overdose death rates, that its availability does not lead to increases in youth drug use, and that it causes no harm if used on a person who is not overdosing on opioids. It is important to note that individuals should not be afraid to administer naloxone, as most states have Good Samaritan Laws protecting bystanders who aid at the scene of an overdose. Our schools are on the frontlines of this epidemic, but our teachers and students can be equipped with tools to save lives. 

Continue reading “Biden White House Tells Schools to Stock Up on Narcan As Deadly Drugs Are Brought Over the Border”

Vance & Adjacent Counties Fentvic Meetup #7 on 11/5/23


Fentvic Meetup #7 for Vance & Adjacent Counties NC (open to the public)

DateSunday, November 5, from 2-4PM
LocationPentecostal Holiness Church
621 US-158 Bypass
Henderson NC 27536

NC man charged for selling a minor drugs that caused fatal overdose, police say

A 21-year-old has been charged with death by distribution after a juvenile died earlier this month of an overdose in Cornelius, according to police.

On July 1, police received a call around 3:15 p.m. about a possible overdose, the Cornelius Police Department said in a news release. When officers arrived they learned a juvenile was dead.

Detectives identified 21-year-old Ehsanullah “Sean” Ayaar as the source of the drugs, police said.

On Monday, Ayaar was arrested and charged with felony death by distribution. He was issued a $100,000 secured bond at the Mecklenburg County jail and was released on Wednesday morning.

Read the full article on

Violent Fayetteville Fentanyl Trafficker Sentenced to 35 years

NEW BERN, N.C. – A Fayetteville man was sentenced today to 420 months in prison for his role as the leader of a violent fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin trafficking organization. On January 11, 2023, Naji Michael Johnson, age 45, pled guilty to fentanyl conspiracy and fentanyl distribution charges.

“Naji Johnson used guns, violence, and intimidation to advance his drug trafficking enterprise in Fayetteville for 15 years, pushing kilogram quantities of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl into our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.  “Today, the community saw justice done.  Drug traffickers should see this 35 year sentence as a warning.  Partnerships between local and federal law enforcement are stronger than ever, and we are determined to keep North Carolina safe.  Our friends, neighbors, and families deserve no less.” 

“The sentencing of Naji Johnson supports the Fayetteville Police Department’s commitment and goal of keeping the City of Fayetteville safe and secure,” said Fayetteville Police Chief Kem Braden. “Naji Johnson was a career criminal responsible for numerous violent crimes in our community. The Fayetteville Police Department appreciates the hard work of the Federal, State, and local agencies responsible for removing a violent, career criminal from our community. The sentencing of Naji Johnson sends a clear message to other would-be criminals that violence within our City will not be tolerated.” 

“There is often a direct link between those trafficking drugs into our communities and those committing violent crimes,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Bennie Mims. “Disrupting these dangerous drug trafficking networks has an immediate and significant role in decreasing violent gun crime.”

Read the full article on the DOJ website.

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