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Fentanyl trafficking carries serious penalties

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Drug Charges

Penalties associated with fentanyl trafficking are severe and reflect the serious nature of the crime. Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, is addictive and can be lethal even in small doses.

Due to its potential for abuse and harm, law enforcement agencies and lawmakers impose strict penalties on those involved in fentanyl trafficking.

Mandatory minimum sentences

A penalty associated with fentanyl trafficking is the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of trafficking large quantities. These mandatory sentences require judges to impose prison terms upon conviction, regardless of circumstances or mitigating factors. While these prison sentences aim to deter drug trafficking and ensure consistency in sentencing, critics argue that they can lead to harsh penalties.  Overcrowding in prisons may also result.

Fines and asset forfeiture

In addition to prison sentences, those convicted of fentanyl trafficking may face hefty fines and asset forfeiture. Fines can amount to thousands or even millions of dollars. Asset forfeiture allows law enforcement agencies to seize assets and property acquired through or used in connection with drug trafficking activities. Such assets might include vehicles, cash and real estate.

Impact on communities and families

Beyond the legal consequences, fentanyl trafficking affects communities and families. The distribution of fentanyl contributes to the opioid epidemic. In doing so, it contributes to addiction, overdose deaths and the breakdown of families. The ripple effects of drug trafficking extend beyond individual offenders to impact entire communities, straining resources and perpetuating cycles of poverty and crime.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission notes that the average convicted fentanyl trafficker spends 64 months in prison. Of those convicted of fentanyl trafficking, 97.7% have to serve time.


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