If you’re caught dealing fentanyl in Louisiana, you could face up to life in prison now. The stiffer penalties went into effect August 1st and bill author Crowley Representative John Stefanski believes it sends a strong message to drug dealers.
“What we’ve done is we’ve significantly increased the penalties to the level where it’s one of the most effective and serious penalties on the books in the entire country dealing with fentanyl distribution,” said Stefanski.
Individuals with less than 28 grams of detectable fentanyl face five to 40 years in prison. More than 28 grams for a first offense, seven to 40 years. A second offense is 30 to 40 years. Stefanski said for a third offense it’s life in prison without parole.
“On a first offense, if you’re caught with over 250 grams, obviously which is a significant amount of drugs, you face life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years,” said Stefanski.
The leading cause of death for 18 to 45-year-olds is fentanyl and Stefanski said to reduce the number of deaths it’s a two-prong approach. Rehabilitation for addicts and putting dealers behind bars. The new law hopes to put dealers out of business.
“The hope is that it takes these drugs off of our streets, and it takes people who seek to profit from selling these drugs, makes them think twice about doing it, and hopefully they stop doing it,” said Stefanski.