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Texas lawmakers pass bill that will allow prosecutors to charge fentanyl distributors with murder if there is a death

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Fentanyl distributors will be charged with murder in Texas if the dangerous drug leads to a death, after the state's senate passed a key bill Wednesday, the Texas Tribune reported.

The DEA said fentanyl-related deaths rose from seven in 2017, to 75 in 2021, based on data shared with them by the Medical Examiner's Office.

"It takes just two milligrams. Just a few grains. Fits on the tip of a pencil - to potentially kill somebody," said Carlos Briano, spokesperson for the El Paso Division of the DEA, which covers west Texas and all of New Mexico.

According to the El Paso Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, about 20 million fentanyl pills were seized in 2021. In 2022, it was about 50 million.

"Fentanyl is a synthetic drug, just like methamphetamine, so it's much easier for them to make it," said Briano, referring to Mexican cartels. "They can make it anywhere. All they need is chemicalsm and they're only limited by the amount of chemicals that they can obtain. So they're flooding our country in masses."

The DEA advises only taking drugs prescribed to you by a medical professional.

You filled it at a licensed pharmacy and you're going to take it as directed. Outside of that, it's not safe," said Briano.

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Kerry Mannix


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