Starting in 2016, the United States has experienced an opioid epidemic that is led to an alarmingly high rate of overdoses and tragic deaths. According to news reports, heroin was easy to obtain in sheep. The illicit drug market throughout the United States was flooded with many different strains of heroin. In the first six months of 2016, The drug fentanyl began showing up in toxicology reports. During that period of time, over 700 people tragically overdosed in the State of Florida. Most of the people who died of an overdose were heroin addicts who were unknowingly ingesting heroin. As more and more fentanyl began to enter into the illicit drug trade in the United States, those with substance abuse disorders had to worry about the drugs that they were receiving off the street and law enforcement officers had to develop new policing strategies to deal with the fentanyl epidemic.
Those who are drug dependent found that sentinel mixed with heroin was a "game-changer." The batches of heroin were tremendously stronger than an average batch of heroin. In a news article published by the South Florida Sentinel, shipments of heroin-laced fentanyl begin to enter in the United States from Mexico and Canada, but the drugs were made in China.
Fentanyl is a pharmaceutical medication that is used to reduce or eliminate a patient's pain. Set now is used in surgical settings and then hospitals throughout the United States. However, heroin drug dealers began cutting heroin with fentanyl or pressuring fentanyl into small pills. Unfortunately, not everyone understood the potency of fentanyl they were taking or what they had consumed. Drug abusers Did not know what the medication was inside of the heroin or how much of the drug they could take. It typical hair when users begin shooting up the same amount of medication; it's their arms leading to overdose and deaths.
The Florida legislature and Governor Rick Scott Came together to create legislation to stop the fentanyl overdose and try to save lives. In 2017, the Florida legislature strengthened the penalties for drug trafficking all types of opioid drugs and also created a separate category for fentanyl trafficking. Although the Florida legislation was intended to do good, the amendment calls for several draconian punishments even if the offender is only found with 4 grams of an opioid drug.
Florida statute section 893.135 makes it illegal to traffic any opioids, including fentanyl or any other drugs from the opioid family. Under subsection (c) Of 837.135, any individual who knowingly buys, sales, delivers, makes, or brings into the State of Florida, or someone who is in actual or constructive possession of 4 g or more of an overview aid, but less than 30 g of opium, hydrocodone, morphine, or any salt, a derivative of any of those substances, including heroin, or a mixture of any of these substances or any other substance is guilty of trafficking and illegal drugs. In the State of Florida, trafficking and illegal narcotics is a felony in the first degree. If convicted, the defendant will face up to 30 years in prison.
Under chapter 893.135, the mandatory minimum penalties a sentence can be in the post is determined by the weight of the drugs and types of drugs that are being trafficked. This statute also determines other punishments, including monetary fines that the offender will be required to pay.
If the defender has been caught with between four and 14 g of an opioid, The judge is required to impose at minimum a three-year prison sentence with a legal fine of at least $50,000. The mandatory minimum prison sentence rises to 15 years should the individual be found guilty of trafficking and legal drugs between 14 g and 28 g. The court will also impose a fan of at least $100,000.
In Florida, the minimum mandatory prison sentence for an individual who's been convicted of trafficking and illegal drugs between 28 g and 30 kg is 25 years, And the mandatory legal fine is $500,000. Any individual who is convicted of trafficking and illegal drugs that exceeds 30 kg will be charged with a capital offense and would be required by law to be sentenced to a term of life in prison met without the possibility of parole if convicted.
Trafficking in fentanyl is punished similarly to trafficking in illegal drugs. Under Florida statute section 893.135(4), any individual who sells, buys, delivers, makes, or brings into the State of Florida 4 g of fentanyl or its derivative has committed trafficking in fentanyl. The statute States the Trafficking in fentanyl is a first-degree felony. There are several substances that also fall under the category of fentanyl. All are synthetic drugs. These substances include carfentanyl, alfentanil, sufentanil, and any other derivative- These substances include carfentanyl, alfentanil, sufentanil, and any other derivative of fentanyl, and any analogous substance, all fall under trafficking of fentanyl.
In the State of Florida, the sentencing structure for fentanyl is the same as heroin. An individual convicted of trafficking in fentanyl from 4 g to 14 g is punishable with a minimum mandatory prison sentence of three years plus a $50,000 fine. A trafficker convicted of trafficking in fentanyl between 14 g and 28 g, faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 15 years and a minimum fine of $100,000. An individual convicted of trafficking 28 g or more of fentanyl will face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 25 years and will be required to pay a fine of at least $500,000.
An individual cannot be convicted of trafficking in illegal fentanyl or drugs unless an individual cannot be convicted of trafficking and illegal fentanyl or drugs unless the State is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused has committed the crime "knowingly." According to section 2 of 893.135, An individual asks "knowingly" when the individual intends to commit the act, even when the acts intended individual ask "knowingly "when the individual intends to commit the act, even when the acts intended has not been completed.