Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill into law that increases penalties for drug trafficking and some other drug offenses when the drug involved is a fentanyl-related compound.
Cuyahoga Falls resident Brenda Ryan is raising her seven-year-old grandson after his mother, Sheena Moore, died from a drug overdose back in 2016. She was only 31 years old.
Ryan says the man who provided the deadly drugs to her daughter spent only eight years in prison because the penalties were reduced once it was determined the drug wasn’t heroin.
“What they thought was heroin, when it was tested, they found it was carfentanyl and fentanyl which is way more deadlier than heroin and they actually had to lower his charge," Ryan says.
The bill Kasich signed into law increases penalties for drug trafficking, drug possession and aggravated funding of drug trafficking when a fentanyl-related compound is involved. The law could add as many as eight years to sentences of drug offenders convicted of serious crimes involving drugs containing fentanyl.
He says this new law will be one more step the state can take to lower the number of opioid deaths in Ohio.
Increased penalties wouldn't apply if the defendant didn't know a compound contained fentanyl.
When a fentanyl-related drug conviction is connected to a homicide conviction, the law would require that prison sentences for each conviction run consecutively.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.