Pa. Senate OKs bill targeting drug dealers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation to punish dealers when their drugs cause serious injuries.

Senate Bill 662 would toughen penalties when illegal drugs result in a serious bodily injury to the user, such as a permanent disfigurement or the loss or impairment of a body part or organ.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Camera Bartolotta, said there’s a troubling trend of dealers adding chemicals and other substances to make their drugs more potent, and that frequently leads to serious injuries and deaths.

“We need to explore every avenue to fight back against the heroin and opioid addiction crisis, especially when it comes to punishing people who are inflicting this pain on individuals and families for personal gain,” Bartolotta said in a statement.

Bartolotta (R-Beaver/Greene/Washington) said because Pennsylvania currently has no law regarding serious injury from an overdose, district attorneys often refer the cases to federal prosecutors. She said that places an undue strain on U.S. attorney offices.

Her proposal is awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives.

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