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 person’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 Carolina’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.

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