Fentanyl is a very potent painkiller legally available only by prescription. It is not only ruining lives through user overdose but is also often the drug of choice leading to the very serious drug charges of engaging in drug trafficking.
When drug dealing, manufacturing or distributing charges combine with the drug-related loss of life, the charges can be far more onerous.
Drug bust with international ties and fatalities
As recently reported by USA Today, in a recent major drug bust, federal authorities charged both United States citizens and Chinese nationals. The drug in question was fentanyl. Fentanyl often sells as heroin. However, it is up to 50 times more potent. The risk of accidental overdose on a minute amount of fentanyl, therefore, may be obvious.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl claimed the lives of 20,000 or more people in the United States last year. Much of the drug is born in low-end labs in China, with users lured to buy over the internet.
The street’s exposure to the opioid provided by the defendants killed at least four people while causing significant injuries to five additional people. Those charged included manufacturers of the synthetic drug as well as distributors, and allegations include that of trafficking along international routes.
The two Chinese defendants charged are not yet in custody, and authorities suspect that they are in China. However, the American suspects were reportedly in custody.
Defendants should use laws for fair treatment
The charges are extremely serious but likely compounded by the link between the fatalities and the defendants’ actions. The fact that the two Chinese defendants are not presently suffering the criminal processes that the American defendants are may seem inequitable. However, the American defendants will, nonetheless, have to make smart decisions and remain level-headed if they expect to build a strong defense for themselves.
If they are not well-versed in the law that pertains to their charges, that lack of knowledge will not protect them from the full force of the law coming to bear. As such, presenting a vigorous defense using all of the laws available to them for fair treatment will be critical.