Mass Overdose Incidents Prompt DEA Initiative Against Fentanyl Traffickers and Suppliers
Fentanyl, an enormously powerful and addictive synthetic opioid, is causing a spike in fatal overdoses across the country. In 2021, fentanyl caused more deaths nationally than guns and auto accidents combined. More recently, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration reports that 29 people died in 58 mass overdose events in seven U.S. cities during a six-week span from late January to mid-March 2022.
In response, the DEA has advised law enforcement agencies that it is ready to offer “all federal resources at our disposal” to assist state and local police. That includes providing training from DEA agents who are specialized in identifying drug distribution networks responsible for causing these mass overdose events.
With that commitment from the DEA, New Jersey law enforcement is likely to devote considerable time and resources to locating and arresting anyone suspected of involvement in the fentanyl trade. Deaths related to the drug have risen by 64 percent in the state in the past five years. Many victims appear to have ingested the drug while inhaling cocaine they did not know was fentanyl-laced. In fact, the DEA is urging local law enforcement to assume that virtually all controlled substances encountered now contain some degree of fentanyl.
In several high-profile fentanyl arrests in New Jersey last fall, people were charged with serious felonies that could mean decades in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. As law enforcement continues battling the fentanyl problem, people arrested in connection with the drug could face such charges as:
- Drug distribution
- Drug trafficking
- Possession with intent to deliver
- Strict liability for drug-induced death
- Money laundering and other financial crimes related to drug sales/distribution
If you are facing charges in state and/or federal court for fentanyl-related activity, you will need an experienced drug crime defense attorney to help you fight them. Your lawyer may be able to raise defenses such as these:
- You unknowingly or unintentionally possessed fentanyl or other drugs laced with fentanyl.
- Police illegally searched and seized your property.
- There were problems with the evidentiary chain of custody (i.e. how police handled the drugs after confiscating them).
A seasoned attorney can also work to achieve a negotiated plea that spares you the harsh consequences that can result from a conviction. Depending on multiple circumstances, you may be eligible for diversionary programs that offer alternatives to criminal penalties.
The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman defend people accused of state and federal drug crimes in New Jersey, including cases involving fentanyl. Call 866-221-1270 or contact us online 24 hours a day to speak to our attorney. We have offices in Marlton, New Brunswick, Newark and Hackensack.