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Opioid epidemic prompts prosecutors in Northern Illinois to go after drug suppliers

January 16, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Opioid epidemic prompts prosecutors in Northern Illinois to go after drug suppliers

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Illinois prosecutors have intensified their struggle against illegal drugs and the national opioid epidemic by going after people who have supplied victims of overdose.

According to the Crystal Lake Northwest Herald, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally’s office charged nine people in 2017 with drug-induced homicide, totaling the number prosecutors for the same crime during the previous six years.

Some question whether charging people with a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison would reduce the number of overdoses amid the raging opioid epidemic plaguing the northern Illinois county.

Vocal critics have voiced concerns that the prosecutions merely incarcerate the last person who was with the overdose victim, who are more often another addicted individual.

However, Kenneally maintains the effort sends a clear message to drug dealers.

“We’re going where the evidence leads us – full stop,” Kenneally said. “We’re not just charging people who are using drugs collectively, If you are going to put your high – your ability to use drugs – over the life and safety of somebody, to me that requires a more robust response, especially if those drugs result in the loss of a life.”

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