The Warren Sun

The Warren Sun

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Reps. Julie Alexander, Joe Tate gain support for proposed increase of penalties for heroin, fentanyl distribution convictions


By Marian Johns | Dec 12, 2019


Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka and parents whose children died from fentanyl and heroin addiction were among those in the state capital to testify in support of state Rep. Julie Alexander's (R-Hanover) and Joe Tate's (D-Detroit) plan designed to increase penalties for those convicted of manufacturing and distributing heroin and fentanyl. 

Testimony was heard on Dec. 3 to support the legislation that Alexander introduced after talking about the issue with the family of Christopher Risner, who died from fentanyl-laced drugs. 

“Fentanyl is often used by drug dealers to cut heroin without a buyer’s knowledge,” Alexander said in a statement. “As fentanyl is used more, drug overdoses are becoming more and more common because most users do not realize how much stronger fentanyl is than heroin. With fentanyl and heroin deaths on the rise throughout Michigan, we must make sure our local law enforcement has the proper tools in place to manage this epidemic."

The plan, House Bills 5137 and 5138, is currently in the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. 

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