BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Even by accident, if you give someone drugs laced with Fentanyl, a Louisiana state law could sentence you to at least ten years.
Louisiana Senate Bill 315 advanced out of house committee Wednesday.
Some are concerned that if they bill moves forward without the word ‘knowingly’, then a person who unintentionally gave fentanyl to another could be convicted.
The bill went before the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.
“We’re putting stronger penalties on it,” Senator Glen Womack of Alexandria stated.
Senate Bill 315 is also known as “Millies Law.”
If approved, 5 extra years of minimum prison time will be added with a fine increase from $50K to $100K or the drugs street value amount.
Lilly Harvey of Alexandria is Millie’s mother. Millie died from a fentanyl laced drug.
“I feel very accomplished that we got it this far,” Harvey testified.
Now, there’s a push for the bill to continue to use the word ‘knowingly.’
Some are concerned that a person who unknowing gave fentanyl, such as to a friend, would be convicted for a violent crime.
Senator Womack understands the concern.
“If you know it, and we come to you and say look you knew this and he says no I didn’t know it. Then, he’s off the hook but if you misrepresented then you still have some dirty hands there,” Senator Womack explained.
The family of JonTerez Broussard of Lafayette also testified.
The Broussard’s support the senate bill and its tough stance on penalties, but would like to see some changes.
“I think the knowingly part is important. Without the provision my sister would have been convicted for distribution and when in fact she was just with some friends,” Bobby Broussard said.
“It’s good to get it going but it needs to be fine-tuned. I also have a little bit of problem with what we are labeling as first-time offenders because a person can be arrested for selling fentanyl for the first time but might be sitting in jail with other offenses.”