Penalties for trafficking Fentanyl are about to get a lot stronger now that Governor John Kasich has signed Senate Bill 1.
Currently, the penalties for trafficking Fentanyl are not as harsh as those for trafficking Heroin, even though Fentanyl is far deadlier.
In 90 days, the law will change and Fentanyl trafficking offenses will be on par with those of Heroin.
The bill reduces the amount of Fentanyl needed to charge someone with a higher level felony and adds a Major Drug Offense option (MDO).
According to Louis Tobin with the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, if a trafficker is found to have committed an MDO, a mandatory 3-8 year prison term will be added to the sentence for their original charges. The extra time will have to be served consecutively to the original sentence meaning a maximum prison term of 19 years will be possible.
All of this makes Brenda Ryan happy. Ryan lost her daughter to a drug overdose two years ago. The night her daughter died the police arrested the dealer who sold her the drugs. After tests on the drugs were conducted, Ryan says he was facing less time behind bars.
“What they thought was heroin, when it was tested they found out it was Carfentanyl and Fentanyl which is way more deadlier than heroin, and they actually had to lower his charge,” said Ryan.
She felt the justice system had betrayed her and her daughter.
“It made me feel like my daughter’s life was not worth anything,” said Ryan. “I was very angry about the whole entire judicial system and the low sentences that these dealers are getting.”
After signing the bill, Kasich said it was important that low-level offenders not be put into the State’s prison system and that they should receive treatment.
He also talked about how the state has made headway on curbing prescription opioid abuse and urged people to stay away from street drugs.