Illegal Fentanyl Dominates Drug Deaths in Philadelphia
Fentanyl, an extremely powerful and addictive synthetic opioid, is by far the leading cause of unintentional overdose deaths in Philadelphia. This grim reality is part of the opioid epidemic that continues to grip the nation.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) reported that of 214 people dying in 2020 of drug overdoses, 86 percent had taken opioids. Fentanyl was involved in 94 percent of those opioid-related drug deaths.
It isn’t the use of fentanyl alone that is causing deaths. Fentanyl is increasingly being detected in deaths involving other potentially lethal drugs. The PDPH says fentanyl was found in the vast majorities of victims of fatal overdoses due to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and pharmaceutical opioids.
The legal stakes are high if you are accused of a drug crime involving fentanyl. Depending on the circumstances, you could face state charges, federal charges or a combination of both. The penalties vary based on your criminal history, if any, and the amount of drugs involved. As a recent example, three Scranton men were charged in September with federal drug trafficking crimes involving fentanyl. Two of the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison while the third faces a potential life sentence.
In addition to drug trafficking offenses, being tied to a fentanyl-related crime could result in a wide range of additional drug charges, such as:
- Drug possession
- Drug distribution
- Drug possession with intent to distribute (PWID)
- Manufacturing of drugs
- Conspiracy to possess or distribute
- Money laundering and other financial crimes stemming from drug sales/distribution
If you are charged with a fentanyl-related crime, you need to act quickly to retain an experienced Pennsylvania drug defense lawyer. There may be strong defenses available to you, such as illegal search and seizure of your home or car, unintentional possession, police misconduct or problems with how the drugs were handled by police after their seizure, known as the chain of custody.
At the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in Philadelphia, we provide powerful defense for clients accused of crimes involving fentanyl and other opioids. We zealously take on aggressive prosecutors to protect your rights. To set up a free consultation, call 215-563-7100 24 hours a day or contact us online today.