South Carolina toughens penalties for fentanyl-related offenses

Trafficking this lethal opioid can result in 40 years in prison and a $200,000 fine, according to a new law enacted by the governor.

Fentanyl poses a serious threat to the country. Some states are rallying together and implementing tougher laws to try to alleviate the situation. That is the case in South Carolina. Governor Henry McMaster signed a new bill into law to increase prison sentences for those who commit crimes involving one of the most lethal opioids in existence.

The bill, called H.3503, adds fentanyl to the list of Schedule 1 drugs. This means that first-time offenses with this substance will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison. In the event of a repeat offense, the offender will spend 10 years behind bars and 15 years if they commit a third fentanyl-related offense.

"Going forward, we must continue to crack down on criminals within South Carolina by strengthening our bond reform bill and enhancing penalties for illegal gun possession, effectively closing the revolving door once and for all," McMaster said on his Twitter account. "With the signing of the fentanyl trafficking bill, we provide our law enforcement with valuable tools to keep drug dealers behind bars, helping to combat the unprecedented flood of fentanyl crossing the Southern border and entering our communities."

Drug traffickers sentenced to up to 40 years in prison

The law also includes a section for drug traffickers. A first offense for trafficking 4-14 grams of fentanyl is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Repeat offenders will face at least 25 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Offenses between 14-28 grams will be punishable by at least 25 years in prison and a $200,000 fine. For 28 grams or more, the drug trafficker will face up to 40 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.