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 deadly overdose. Many experts believe that having these consequences out on the table and making it clear to the public that if you sell drugs you will be held accountable will reduce sales. Unfortunately most dealers do not look at it the same way. They believe that they shouldn't be charged with homicide because they did not put the substance into the person's body. The addict has to make the decision to go ahead and put the heroin into their system.
This topic is a very interesting one and I am 100% behind the idea. I do not believe that this will put too much of a dent into the climbing numbers of overdose deaths but prosecuting drug dealers with stiffer penalties is always a positive thing. Drug dealers first need to be caught. Many dealers are extremely secretive and careful about giving away too much of their information to anyone they do business with.
It is rare to know a dealers real name. Many go by a nickname in order to keep themselves as low key as possible. Most dealers never provide their home address and meet in public and high traffic areas. This keeps users who are in withdrawal from coming to their home at all hours of the night for freebies or I.O.U.'s. Getting in touch with these dealers is never hard, but they frequently change their cell phone numbers. They use prepaid phone lines that can easily be paid for with cash and leave 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.
Earlier this year in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a 31 year old man was charged with first-degree reckless homicide for selling heroin that led to a fatal overdose. 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 has no idea what is in it. They then sell this dangerous product to someone who is not thinking logically, trying to get as high as they can without overdosing. With potency changing in each bag, overdose is very likely to happen.
I hope that these strong charges deter some people from becoming drug dealers. This may be wishful thinking but I believe it may help in saving a few lives.