Connecticut Goes After Drug Dealers Causing Heroin Overdoses
It does not happen in every state, but it does happen in Connecticut. In this state, if a drug dealer sells heroin or other opioids to someone and they die from an overdose, the drug dealer can be charged with murder.
The initiative came after Connecticut saw five deaths from opioid overdoses within the first four months of last year. In total, six people were charged for those deaths, the most recent being Daniel Gamero and Charlie Tacuria, who pleaded guilty of causing death in December of 2016 and were sentenced the following March. Gamero faces up to six years in prison for his crimes, and he is just one example of what the Connecticut courts are prepared to do in order to help with the opioid crisis.
While Gamero and Tacuria were both arrested and charged on behalf of the federal government, the process is typically left up to local law enforcement agencies who are better able to investigate at the scene of death, and who are familiar with local distributors of drugs, as well as those who purchase them.
But while Connecticut is one state that is cracking down on drug dealers that sell opioids that cause injury or a fatal overdose, not all states are following suit. Some states simply believe it is not a practical solution to the opioid crisis, as getting a drug dealer off the streets simply leaves a void that another will fill. Other states say that they are simply too busy dealing with other crimes that they believe take priority over enforcing a controversial law that does not make sense to everyone.
It is usually left to the district attorney to decide whether or not they are going to prosecute individuals, or enact the initiative. In Connecticut, that authority belongs to U.S. attorney Deirdre M. Daly, and she has stated that because “no one is spared” from this crisis, she intends to go after those that cause it.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that Connecticut is being hit very hard with the opioid crisis. The overdose death rate in this state is higher than the national average and in 2016 alone, there were 917 total deaths due related to opioids.
Connecticut’s death rate from opioid overdose is 1 in 20.3 people while the national average is 1 in 19.3 people. While Donald Trump has declared it an emergency situation, local law makers in Connecticut are doing everything they can to combat the crisis.