WASHINGTON-If someone deals fentanyl and that fentanyl causes an overdose death, the dealer could be charged with federal felony murder, under a bill being introduced by Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, and several other senators. The Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act, is also being introduced by senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla).
Braun said he wants the bill to pass because of the high number of Hoosiers who have died from overdoses.
He pointed out that in Vanderburgh County, for instance, there were a record number of overdose deaths last year, 60 percent of which were from fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is killing young Hoosiers and cutting a path of destruction through the Midwest,” said Braun. “If you are peddling this poison you should pay the price.”
While Braun’s Tuesday statement did not equate the fentanyl problem with illegal border crossings, he did mention that in a Senate committee hearing in July.
“We’ve intercepted 1.2 million pounds of illegal drugs (since the beginning of 2021), over 16,000 pounds of fentanyl. That’s approximately 3.7 billion lethal doses coming into the country, enough to kill the population ten times over,” he said.
Braun said he believes the main manufacturer is china and the main distributor to be Mexico.
Fentanyl overdose is now the number one cause of deaths for people between the ages of 18 and 45, in America.
The three senators were joined by several other Republicans in sponsorship of the bill. Most commenting talked about illegal border crossings being a component in overdose deaths.
The Act would increase the penalty from a minimum of 20 years, to a minimum of life in prison.