Gov. DeSantis signs bill to tighten penalties on fentanyl and meth trafficking

“Someone who is dealing in fentanyl is murdering people,” DeSantis said

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference (file) (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill to increase penalties for trafficking in fentanyl and methamphetamine.

DeSantis signed HB 95 in Lakeland, flanked by Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

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The bill makes a first-degree felony murder involving the unlawful distribution of methamphetamine a capital felony, which means the convict is eligible for life in prison or the death penalty.

The bill also increases the penalties for the sale of a controlled substance from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony, and further enhances those penalties if the sales take place in front of a treatment facility.

It’s also increases the minimum mandatory prison term for a person convicted of trafficking for specific amounts of fentanyl or fentanyl analogues:

  • 4 grams to less than 14 grams from three years to seven years
  • 14 grams to less than 28 grams of fentanyl from 15 years to 20 years

‘We’re not going to want to put someone in jail for making a bad decision using a fentanyl,” DeSantis said. “I mean, it’s just it’s that’s not the right approach. But the people that are dealing this and knowingly put that out, you cannot do anything else but throw the book at them and so that’s what we’re gonna do.”