Texas bill would let prosecutors pursue murder charges in some fentanyl deaths

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - The fight against the fentanyl crisis continues.

Recently the Laredo Police Department reported over 30 drug overdoses in the Gateway City; however, a bill that could soon be turned into a law aims to reduce the number of drug related deaths.

Texas House Bill 6 could designate unsolicited fentanyl dealers who sell the drug illegally to someone. If that person ends up dying after consumption, the seller could be held responsible and possibly charged with murder.

After the bill passed the senate floor in a 30 to one vote, it is now sitting on the Texas Governor’s desk waiting to be signed into state law.

During a recent Texas Legislative session, state lawmakers passed several house bills such as ending Covid-19 restrictions as well as additional funds to help secure the border.

State Representative Richard Pena Raymond said he was in favor of the bill and even added that he has tried to push similar bills in the past.

“That’s something that I started pushing many years ago, not in reference to fentanyl, we were having a lot of heroin overdose here in Laredo, especially amongst teenagers,” said Raymond. “Now that we have fentanyl and so many people are dying from fentanyl poisoning, we passed this bill, which you could be charged with murder if we found out you were the one who gave that person or sell that person with fentanyl.”

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

According to the Texas Health and Human Services, the bill would allow for harsher penalties for those caught producing and distributing fentanyl including life in prison.

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