A man from Camden, who had enough fentanyl in his possession to kill more than half the population of New Jersey, has been sentenced to a seven-year prison term. The accused, Yahmire Boardley (23), was arrested in March 2017 with 31 pounds or 14 kilograms of deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl, and was charged with possession of the drug with the intent to distribute. The authorities suspected the drug to have been shipped from China to many sites in Camden on March 16. According to the then New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino, the haul “could have yielded upward of 5 million lethal doses of fentanyl, since a dose as small as 2-3 milligrams can be fatal.” Boardley has pleaded guilty for the crime.
Few officials viewed the sentencing a lesser punishment for fentanyl offenders under state law. They do not undermine the exemplary work by investigators from federal, state and local agencies; however, expected a stricter action against the accused.
Lawmakers call for severe action for fentanyl-related criminal activities
The timely action of law enforcement agencies has saved many lives in New Jersey. With a population of over 9 million people, the results could have been catastrophic had the drug remained undetected. Fentanyl is more potent than morphine and heroin. Though heroin users can be treated through drug abuse recovery programs at certified addiction drug rehabs, a small dose of fentanyl is enough to cost a life, leaving no room for addiction disorder treatment. According to the law enforcement authorities, there were more than 800 overdose deaths from fentanyl in 2016, almost double from 417 overdose incidents the year before.
Adulterating drugs with fentanyl is like playing a game of Russian roulette. Gullible users do not realize what are they being sold and the dealers rake in huge profits. Currently, in the state of New Jersey, possession and production with the intent to distribute more than an ounce of fentanyl is tantamount to a second-degree offense, attracting prison term of either 5 to 10 years, fine of $150,000 or both. Some state lawmakers have advocated for harsher penalties under which possession or distribution of more than 5 ounces of fentanyl would be treated as a first-degree offence. The offender would be liable for sentence up to 10 to 20 years in prison, to pay a fine of $200,000 or both.
Fentanyl-related fatalities on the rise
Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs and as recent incidents indicate it is increasingly being mixed with weed, heroin and cocaine. Dealers also sell the drug in powder form or mix it with pills like oxycodone and Xanax. As even a tiny dose is enough to precipitate a fatality, and even first responders and law enforcement are not immune to the dangers, the unscrupulous ways of the drug dealers is a cause of concern.
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