A growing trend in many states and local governments is the push to charge drug dealers with homicide when the drugs they sell lead to a users deadly overdose. Many experts believe that having the consequences out on the table and making it clear to the public, "that if you sell drugs, you will be held accountable for any overdoses". Most dealers do not look at it the same way. They believe they shouldn't be charged with homicide because they did not put the substance into the addicts body. The addicts have to make the decision to go ahead and put the heroin into their veins.
This is a very interesting topic, and I for one am behind this idea 100%. Though I don't believe this will put a huge dent into the climbing numbers of overdose deaths, but prosecuting drug dealers with stiffer penalties is always a positive thing. The first thing that needs to happen is for the drug dealers to be caught. Many dealers are extremely secretive and careful about not giving away too much of their information to anyone they do business with. It is rare to know their real name and most go by a nickname. Many dealers never provide their home address and rather meet at public and high trafficked areas. This keeps addicts in withdrawal from coming to their home at all hours of the night for freebie drugs or I.O.U.'s. Getting in touch with these dealers is never hard but they frequently change their cell phone numbers as well. They use prepaid phone lines that can easily be discarded. Paying with cash leaves no paper trail or attachments to a person's name or address. When their number is changed, they will more than likely contact all of their customers with a text saying what their new number is.
Last week in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a 31 year old man was charged with first-degree reckless homicide for selling heroin that led to a fatal overdose this past July. Travis N. Tramte allegedly sold heroin to Kathryn M. Jakimczyk, who died after injecting the drug in in her apartment in mid July. Her 8 year old daughter found her in the bathroom, called her grandmother and said her mother was asleep on the floor and wouldn't wake up. Tramte was “freaking out” and saying he “just killed” a girl who had overdosed according to a witness. Tramte faces up to 25 years in prison if he is convicted.
Drug dealers like the Tramte now have to take into account the possibility of going to jail for a very long time if the drugs they sell end up killing someone. You are providing a very dangerous drug, that most times is cut with other dangerous substances. This process is sometimes done by someone else, and the dealer themselves normally have no idea what is in it. It's also common for dealers to then "re-cut" their heroin with even more chemicals hoping to greater their profits. They then sell this dangerous products to someone who is not thinking logically, trying to get as high as they can without overdosing. With potencies changing from bag to bag, it's just a matter of time before an overdose occurs.
I hope that these strong charges deter some people from becoming dealers. This may be wishful thinking, but I believe it may help in saving a few lives.