House Passes Bill to Increase Penalties For Fentanyl

Posted on May 15, 2019 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Nicole Klarides-Ditria praised the passage of legislation on Tuesday that will create tougher penalties for the illegal manufacturing, distributing or selling of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that is linked to killing thousands of individuals suffering from drug addiction,” said Rep. Klarides-Ditria, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Making the penalties for selling fentanyl harsh will hopefully deter individuals from selling or manufacturing this dangerous drug.”

The bill would change the definition of narcotic substance to include fentanyl the same category as heroin. As the law is currently written, fentanyl is listed as a synthetic drug, which is a lesser penalty.

In 2016, the Derby Police Department stopped a tractor-trailer on Route 34. After searching the tractor-trailer, the police discovered a large amount of fentanyl estimated to be worth $1.5 million. The driver was recently only sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Data from the Chief State Medical Examiner’s Office shows an increase in deaths related to fentanyl from 2015-2018. In 2018, 760 of the 1,017 deaths related to opioids contained a form of fentanyl. In 2015, 189 of 729 deaths related to opioids contained a form of fentanyl.

The bill now awaits action in the Senate.