Sept. 4, 2018 – In 2014, one of my heroin dealers supplied drugs to someone who would later overdose and die. I wasn’t involved and only heard about it second-hand, but he would be sentenced to five years in federal prison for providing drugs that resulted in a death. “Drug-induced homicide” is a criminal offense where the sale, distribution, or delivery of a controlled substance that causes death. This federal law allows those who supply the lethal dose, directly or indirectly, to be charged with manslaughter or murder.
This federal law was passed in 1986 as part of the Controlled Substances Act and provides a potential penalty of 20 years to life for anyone who dispenses an illegal substance that results in death. The recent increase in overdose deaths has caused these types of prosecutions to spike. From the outside, it’s easy to feel anger towards someone who supplies drugs that result in death. A large percentage of our community views heroin dealers as predators, willingly poisoning and killing others without any regard for human life.