Proposed bill would allow murder charges for opioid dealers

Posted: Updated:
MASSAPEQUA PARK -

A new bill could soon allow prosecutors to charge drug dealers with murder.

It's called the Death by Dealer Statute.

If passed by state lawmakers, drug dealers could face homicide charges if they sell opioids to someone who later dies of an overdose. Up until now, only a handful of dealers have been convicted of manslaughter.

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says the bill would give law enforcement a powerful tool to put more dealers behind bars.

"The drug dealers need to be taken off the street," Ryder says. "We can't let them keep coming back out and selling."

The measure has support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Teri Kroll, of Lindenhurst, lost her 23-year-old son Timothy to a heroin overdose nearly 10 years ago. His addiction began with prescription pills, and Kroll says she's convinced that her son was killed by a drug-dealing doctor.

Kroll says she can't help but wonder what might have happened if the law had been in place when her son died.

The bill has already been passed by the state Senate, but still needs to go through the Assembly.

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