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Parents Plea for Tougher Fentanyl Penalties

ROCK HILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Several bills have been introduced in South Carolina, both in the Senate and House when it comes to Fentanyl.

On Thursday of this week a South Carolina Senate Committee pushed through a Fentanyl Induced Homicide bill as well as a Fentanyl Trafficking Bill.

There are still many steps in the process for those to become law.

Right now, the Palmetto State does not have a law for trafficking fentanyl, a drug that experts say is taking the lives of many in our community.

On Thursday many parents from York County and beyond who lost a child to a fentanyl overdose went to in Columbia on this Thursday to plead with law makers to see stiffer penalties for drug dealers selling illegal fentanyl laced drugs.

York County’s Holly Alsobrooks lost her son, Cody Bryant she says to a single pill laced with fentanyl. She says he and other children who have died did not know they were taking the deadly drug.

Alsobrooks and many other parents held posters with their child’s face on them so legislators could put a face with the growing problem.

“We are here today to put some faces to this fentanyl problem”, says Alsobrooks.

Patty Roberts, also from York County says she lost her son to what she called “fentanyl poisoning” in 2021.

In front of a House Committee on Thursday, those parents begged lawmakers to move forward with House Bill 3503, Trafficking in Fentanyl.

According to the bill, a person found with four grams of fentanyl would serve a minimum of seven years behind bars. A second offense, a mandatory twenty five years.

Joe McCullouch, a representative with the South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers Association says he doesn’t agree. He argued the “four gram or more” could potentially put a drug addict in jail, not just a dealer.

The bill didn’t move on Thursday, instead the committee reset the hearing for another day to give everyone who came a chance to speak.

Although in the Senate, two similar bills were passed and will now be sent to Full Committee, Trafficking Fentanyl and Fentanyl Induced Homicide.

South Carolina House Representative for District 48, Brandon Guffey is a co-sponsor of House Bill 3503. He says he was a little disappointed the bill didn’t move today although he is happy to see it is one of the first issues being discussed this legislative year.

As for the parents who traveled to see change, they will not stop fighting.

“South Carolina needs to get on board with the laws. These drug dealers, these sellers of death are walking the streets right now destroying other families”, says Patty Roberts.

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