Lawmaker calls for stricter regulations to hold drug dealers accountable for accidental overdoses

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A local lawmaker is calling for stricter regulations to hold drug dealers accountable in the case of accidental overdoses.

Republican Assemblyman Mike LiPetri is renewing the push for stricter laws to prevent drug dealers from selling on streets with his Death By Dealer bill.

"Enough is enough. Now it's time that the state should step up and allow these prosecutors to charge these drug dealers with murder," says LiPetri.

A local Democrat is for the legislation as well.

"I absolutely support legislation that's going to increase penalties for drug kingpins, particularly where they're involved in activities that unfortunately leads to horrific tragedies," says state Sen. Jim Gaughran.

Denise and Branko Rakamaric are also pushing for stricter laws, and are demanding justice for their 18-year-old son, Nicolas, who died from a fentanyl overdose back in December.

"He wasn't a drug addict. He was a child who unfortunately experimented with something that he shouldn't have. And it was a bad choice," says Denise Rakamaric.

Nassau police arrested and charged Damiean Johnson, of Queens, with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.

According to the Rakamaric family's lawyer, Johnson was released due to the new bail reform law.

"I have trouble sleeping at night. Not only because of the loss of my son, but just knowing that there are people like him who are able to sell a lethal drug such as fentanyl," says Denise Rakamaric.

Denise Rakamaric says that she believes that if a drug dealer is willing to sell drugs as a living, he should be held fully accountable.

News 12 reached out to the district attorney for comment, but is waiting to hear back.

Nicolas Rakamaric's family is hosting a rally this Friday outside of court -- the same day Johnson is due back before a judge.

 

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