What Is Fentanyl And Why Is It Being Smuggled Into The United States?
Fentanyl is an opioid that was originally intended to be used as a painkiller and in conjunction with other drugs for anesthesia. Fentanyl was approved for common medical use in the United States in 1968. As of 2017, fentanyl was the most commonly used synthetic opioid in the medical world. Now fentanyl is also used a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or cocaine. As a painkiller, fentanyl is more than 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl and its “structural analogs” are classified as Schedule II drugs by the federal government. This means that fentanyl has medical usefulness, but also a high potential for physical and psychological dependency and abuse. Structural analogs are synthetically made designer drugs that have a very similar scientific structure to the original but have a difference as to avoid criminal laws. Fentanyl has a handful of structural analogs that have also been declared illegal under state and federal law. The size of a few grains of salt of fentanyl could be a deadly dose to the user. It is an extremely powerful drug.
Fentanyl is now being seized at the United States/ Canada border in Detroit at alarming rates. Statistics show that from 2015-17 there was just over one-half pound of fentanyl seized in that three-year period. In 2018 alone that number nearly tripled to almost a pound and a half. As of 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 10.5 pounds of fentanyl. That is enough to kill nearly 1.5 million people. Nationally the rate of fentanyl seized today is 35 times what it was back in 2015. The recreational demand for fentanyl is at an all-time high. Its potency and addictiveness are what could continue to increase this frightening trend.
What Are The Criminal Penalties For Possessing Fentanyl?
The mere possession of fentanyl in any amount of less than 50 grams can lead to prison time of up to 20 years. Possession of 225-650 grams of fentanyl can lead to 20-30 years in prison, while possessing more than 650 grams can be a 20 year to life sentence. This is a drug that is considered very serious by the police and prosecutor. The power of this drug is what leads judges to punish harshly, in an effort to deter criminal use of fentanyl. Unfortunately, it looks like fentanyl and its derivatives are here to stay. The cutting of heroin and cocaine with fentanyl has led to many unexpected overdose deaths. The startling number of these deaths prove how potent just a tiny amount of the drug can be. If you supply someone with a drug that is cut with fentanyl and they overdose and die as a result of using that drug, then you can easily find yourself facing a delivery causing death charge; a very serious felony which can lead to a life sentence if convicted. Even the mistaken possession of this drug if found while testing other suspected drugs in your possession will lead to criminal charges. The exponential increase in fentanyl and its analogs have substantially increased the probability that the drugs that you buy may have fentanyl mixed in as a cheap but very dangerous addition.
What If I Am Suspected Of Possessing Fentanyl?
If you or someone you love is suspected of possessing or using fentanyl, then it is imperative to speak to an attorney immediately. Certain drugs; marijuana, magic mushrooms, and ecstasy have seen a shift in public opinion towards acceptance of medicinal and recreational use. Fentanyl, however, is not seen in that light; and the negative public opinion of fentanyl will likely never change due to how dangerous this drug is. Expect that the police and prosecutor will cut no corners in their attempt to prosecute you for possession or distribution of this drug. They will view you as a dangerous member of society that will need to be taken off the streets. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending drug cases all over the state of Michigan. The first step to taking control of your case is to take advantage of our FREE consultation. We offer a free consultation to anyone who may need an attorney. This consultation will leave you much more informed and able to make a decision on the next steps of your case. We are available on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896, contact us online, or come visit us at one of our three statewide offices. We can come to you.