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North Dakota

Bill increases penalties for drug dealers in overdose deaths



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BISMARCK – North Dakota law enforcement agencies are urging state lawmakers to support a bill that would enact harsher penalties for drug traffickers if a death results from the sale of their drugs.

Police chiefs and law enforcement associations told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that stiffer penalties are needed, especially as such fatalities mount across the state.

The proposed legislation would make it a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison for someone convicted of trafficking drugs that cause a death. The current penalty is a lower felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison.