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House approves legislation cracking down on fentanyl trafficking

FRANKFORT— The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that many legislators hope will save lives.

House Bill 215, or Dalton’s Law, would make importing fentanyl, carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives from another state or country a Class C felony. Those convicted of importing fentanyl would be required to serve at least 85% of their sentence and would not be eligible for pretrial diversion under this bill.

HB 215 would also block those guilty of aggravated trafficking of fentanyl, carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives from pretrial diversion and require them to serve at least 85% of their sentence. Aggravated trafficking is defined in the bill as someone who traffics 28 grams or more of fentanyl or 10 grams or more of carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Chris Fugate, R-Chavies, said drug overdose deaths in the Commonwealth rose 56% last year, and the majority of those deaths were due to fentanyl.

“This drug is not just destroying lives and families,” Fugate said. “It’s taking lives and its killing people all over the state of Kentucky and really across the United States.”

Fugate and Rep. Steve Riley, R-Glasgow, said the intention of HB 215 is to target fentanyl traffickers, not users. By targeting traffickers who are lacing other drugs like marijuana and heroin with fentanyl, hopefully lives will be saved.