Attorney General Healey pushes for new fentanyl trafficking crime

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Written by Andy Metzger

The state’s top law enforcement officer proposed legislation Monday that would create a new crime of trafficking in fentanyl, an extremely potent opiate with a high that matches heroin.

Attorney General Maura Healey. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Attorney General Maura Healey. Courtesy of Wikipedia

The bill filed by House Judiciary Chairman John Fernandes and Attorney General Maura Healey would penalize people for possession of more than 10 grams of fentanyl with up to 20 years in prison.

State law already criminalizes possession of fentanyl as well as dealing the synthetic substance that has increasingly popped up on law enforcement radar. A new crime of fentanyl trafficking would enable the justice system to levy heavier penalties against the larger players in fentanyl distribution.

“The drug cartels have figured out a way to manufacture fentanyl and they’re sending it out into our streets,” said Healey, holding up a rubber glove of the type that is often used to carry 10 grams of the substance in its finger. She said, “Many heroin users don’t even know that the drugs that they’re using contain fentanyl. It looks just like heroin. It’s killing people. It’s hurting people.”

The news conference was streamed live on Periscope, and can be watched here.

Copyright State House News Service. NewBostonPost Web Editor Alex Jankowski contributed to this report.