Gopal Introduces Bill Upgrading Penalties For Certain Drug Crimes

Senator Vin Gopal introduced a bill that would upgrade the penalties for certain crimes involving heroin and fentanyl.

“Heroin continues to plague our communities. From Asbury Park to Colts Neck, no community has been spared from heroin’s fatal grip,” said Senator Vin Gopal.

“Our law enforcement officers are combating this epidemic in the streets. Our teachers, in our schools. Our doctors, in our hospitals and treatment facilities. And we, your state legislators, are combating this epidemic in Trenton.

“Heroin will not be defeated by legislation alone. However, in stiffening penalties against heroin and fentanyl crimes we hope to deter individuals from committing these offenses which spread this deadly addiction while administering the appropriate sentence to those who do commit these crimes.”

This bill (S2500) also establishes new crimes addressing two types of heroin mixtures: heroin mixtures with fentanyl and without fentanyl. A heroin mixture as defined in the bill is heroin mixed with at least one other controlled dangerous substance.

“This legislation enhancing the penalties for crimes involving fentanyl or heroin is a welcome revision, and a valuable tool for law enforcement in the evolving fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.

“While it is important for the law enforcement community to play its necessary role in breaking the cycle of addiction for those with substance use disorders, it remains equally important for us to aggressively prosecute those who enrich themselves by selling these deadly substances in our communities.  We thank the sponsors of this bill for this timely and vital legislation.”

 

Heroin; Heroin Mixtures Containing CDS Other Than Fentanyl

Currently, it is a crime of the first degree to manufacture, distribute, or dispense heroin or its analog in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants.The defendant must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant is ineligible for parole, and a fine up to $500,000.

It is a crime of the second degree if the quantity of heroin or its analog is one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces including any adulterants or dilutants. It is a crime of the third degree if the quantity is less than one-half ounce, with  an increased fine of up to $75,000.

Under the bill, it would be a crime of the first degree to manufacture, distribute, or dispense heroin or its analog, or a heroin mixture that does not contain fentanyl or its analog, in a quantity of 10 grams or more including any adulterants or dilutants. It would be a crime of the second degree if the quantity is five grams or more but less than 10 grams. If the quantity is less than five grams it would be a crime in the third degree with a fine of up to $75,000.



Fentanyl; Heroin Mixtures Containing Fentanyl

Currently, it is a crime of the second degree to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, or dispense fentanyl or its analog in a quantity of one ounce or more including any adulterants or dilutants. It is a crime of the third degree if the quantity is less than one ounce and an increased fine of $75,000 may be imposed.

Under the bill, it would be a crime in the first degree to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, or dispense fentanyl or its analog, or a heroin mixture containing fentanyl or its analog, in an amount of five grams or more including any adulterants or dilutants. It would be a crime in the second degree if the quantity is two grams or more but less than five grams. It would be a crime of the third degree, with an increased fine of up to $75,000, if the quantity is less than two grams.

 


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