Calif. District Attorney warns drug dealers could face murder charges amid spike in fentanyl related deaths

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chemist checks confiscated powder containing fentanyl at the DEA Northeast Regional Laboratory on October 8, 2019 in New York. - According to US government data, about 32,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2018. That accounts for 46 percent of all fatal overdoses. Fentanyl, a powerful painkiller approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for a range of conditions, has been central to the American opioid crisis which began in the late 1990s. (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chemist checks confiscated powder containing fentanyl at the DEA Northeast Regional Laboratory on October 8, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo by DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

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UPDATED 10:58 AM PT – Saturday, November 13, 2021

A California district attorney warns drug dealers they could face murder charges for distributing fentanyl laced drugs.

Earlier this week, Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said she wants to prosecute drug dealers for murder if they distribute fentanyl laced drugs and it results in death. This comes after 153 Kern County residents died from fentanyl overdose this year, setting a record high rate.

Zimmer is hoping to step in and combat these crimes since state legislatures are failing to crack down on charges drug dealers receive.

“We have to show one, that this is the person, this is the dealer that gave them the drugs, that they knew the drugs and they chose to do it anyway. That would qualify a person to be charged for second-degree murder,” said Zimmer.

California district attorneys in Orange County and Riverside County have also implemented stricter charges on illicit drug dealers. This in hopes death rates associated with fentanyl overdose will decrease.

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