COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The 4th Judicial District Attorney in Colorado is asking for harsher penalties when it comes to crimes involving fentanyl following a recent tragedy in Commerce City.
Five people were found dead inside a Commerce City apartment on Sunday. Investigators believe the group died from an accidental overdose on fentanyl as preliminary testing and evidence suggests the five thought they were taking cocaine.
A message from 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen was sent out on Tuesday following the incident in Commerce City:
“The deadly fentanyl epidemic continues to claim the lives of unsuspecting drug users, with five more people dead in Commerce City from a likely fentanyl overdose. I’m again calling on Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Representatives and Senators to get serious about fixing this problem.
We're not immune to this issue here in the Pikes Peak Region. Just this weekend a mother was booked into jail on allegations that she provided marijuana to minors and it is suspected that the marijuana she provided was laced with deadly fentanyl, leading to the overdose death of a young man. Keep in mind all people are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, including the mother I referenced here.
The only people that can fix this are the Governor and those elected to the Colorado Legislature. I can tell you that cartels will continue to take advantage of the weaknesses in our laws until those in power get serious about closing the loopholes. The first step should be increasing the penalty for possession of fentanyl back to a felony because as little as 2mg of fentanyl can be deadly. The second step should be including a sentencing enhancer that includes a mandatory prison sentence for those who distribute fentanyl that leads to an overdose death. Finally, let us not forget the importance of treatment.
I want to specifically call on all of our elected leaders from the Pikes Peak Region to take the reins on this issue and work with me to craft workable and serious solutions to this growing problem. I also urge residents from the Pikes Peak Region to call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to get in the fight.
Senators in the Pikes Peak Region include Senators Paul Lundeen, Bob Gardner, Pete Lee, Dennis Hisey, and Larry Liston.
Representatives in the Pikes Peak Region include Representatives Tim Geitner, Terri Carver, Mary Bradfield, Shane Sandridge, Mark Baisley, Tony Exum, Marc Snyder, Andres Pico, and Dave Williams.”
11 News reached out to the Governor’s Office following the message sent by Allen. The following response was sent by a spokesperson:
“The Governor looks forward to working with the legislature on a thoughtful package around how we can reduce fentanyl abuse and deaths including increased penalties. Saving
lives is not a partisan issue which is why the Governor’s comprehensive public safety plan has the support of District Attorneys, community and law enforcement leaders.
Fentanyl is devastating our communities. Governor Polis believes the General Assembly needs to act on a comprehensive approach to address the dangers of fentanyl including increased criminal penalties. While there is no guarantee that increased criminal penalties would have prevented this tragedy, we clearly need real consequences and harsher sentences for those involved with dealing or possessing enough fentanyl to kill people. This drug is unlike any our country has seen before, people are taking it without even realizing they are doing so which is why we urgently need comprehensive solutions that includes harsher penalties and also addresses the unique nature of this crisis and to do more to bring awareness to the problem.”
If you are dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, the SAMHSA National Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-662-4357.
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