By Zac Anderson

The legislation, HB 477, backed by Repetition. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, establishes mandatory minimum sentences for having certain levels of fentanyl — a effective synthetic opioid — and it is many derivatives.

Frequently combined with heroin, fentanyl could be very deadly. Overdose deaths associated with the drug have spiked in Florida recently, with Bonita Springs a specific hot place.

Manatee and Sarasota counties were the very best two communities within the condition for fentanyl-caused deaths per person in 2015, based on the Florida Medical Examiners Commission. The drug wiped out 111 people who year within the medical examiner’s district which includes Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.

The legislation establishes mandatory minimum sentences with a minimum of 3 years in prison for having between four and 14 grams of fentanyl or its derivatives, a minimum of fifteen years for having between 14 and 28 grams and a minimum of twenty five years for possession in excess of 28 grams.

Criminal justice reform advocates say mandatory minimums don’t offer idol judges enough versatility and can lead to excessively harsh sentences. But supporters from the legislation argue they’re needed because fentanyl is really a harmful drug.

“The heroin and fentanyl epidemic is destroying lives and families,” Boyd stated. “Thx the governor signed this bill that transmits notice towards the dealers of the poison that whenever caught they’ll visit jail. We won’t stop until we discover and prosecute you to definitely the maximum extent of the law.”

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