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Law Enforcement Cracks Down on Fentanyl Following Overdoses

The overdose crisis has caused over 100,000 deaths within one year (April 2020-April 2021). This was up 25.8% from the prior year.  To put this into perspective, 375,000 people died of COVID in 2020. Most of the overdoses are caused by the drug Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, but it is far stronger than most on the market. It is often mixed with other drugs like heroin, or pressed into street prescription pills. Frighteningly, there are even stronger versions like Carfentanil coming out, which is 100 times stronger than Fentanyl. 

Fentanyl overdoses can be reversed by using naloxone. But with the strength of newer fentanyl, the naloxone must be used faster, and in even multiple rounds to be effective in preventing people from going back into an overdose state. 

A major concern with Fentanyl is that it can be produced in a lab so that it is harder to track. It is fairly cheap to produce. As news breaks about overdose deaths, law enforcement officials have been cracking down on anyone possessing or distributing Fentanyl. In Massachusetts, a Puerto Rican man plead guilty in federal court in Worcester to charges of being involved in a wide-ranging heroin, crack, fentanyl and cocaine trafficking conspiracy. The investigation began looking into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) in the Fitchburg area in September 2018 following a drug overdose. The individuals involved in the ring were identified through court-authorized interceptions of cell phones used by the DTO and its suppliers.

Regardless of the reasons you are caught in possession of Fentanyl, the penalties are serious. To combat the growing Fentanyl and overdose problem in the United States, harm reductionists have been working to open safe injection sites and make Narcan (generic name for Naloxone) readily and affordably available. Two safe injection sites were recently opened in New York City, and nine overdose reversals were performed within a week. However, the law has not caught up with harm reduction programs that identify people addicted to Fentanyl. 

Possessing or distributing Fentanyl is a serious criminal offense. In  Massachusetts, it can have different penalties depending on the amount possessed. For example, possessing 40 grams or more of Fentanyl, has a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison. If you are facing charges of fentanyl possession or distribution, please contact Dhar Law today. Our Drug Trafficking attorneys have years of experience defending charges involving Fentanyl. 

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Heading up the firm, Vikas Dhar is widely recognized as a leader in the New England legal community. An accomplished business litigator and a “Top 40 Under 40” criminal defense attorney, he has also been honored as a New England Super Lawyer/Rising Star in the area of White-Collar Criminal Defense for each of the past six years by Boston Magazine.

I have the power and the skill to be able to save people from themselves. I can be your guide during the darkness. I can hold your hand and navigate you out of the darkness into the light.

— Vikas Dhar
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