A PA Senate bill would double the prison time for drug dealers

October 4 — Drug dealers responsible for overdose deaths could be looking at more prison time if a Pennsylvania Senate bill makes it through the House of Representatives. 

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Doug Mastriano, passed the Senate with bipartisan support. 

Mastriano said, “A couple of years ago I had a meeting with Laura Shanafelter. Her son had died as a result of being poisoned in Chambersburg by drugs that were laced with fentanyl. The thing that really cut her to the quick, hit her heart hard, was that the dealer, the person who sold the lethal mix of drugs to her son, 18 year old beautiful young man with a life ahead of him. That dealer was back on the street pretty quick. We looked into this and studies showed that most drug dealers convicted of killing people by selling drugs with a lethal mix of fentanyl had two years or less, even some hardly any jail time.”

The law would be called Tyler’s Law. 

Mastriano said, “We worked together with the Democrats on this here, believe it or not, and we had a bipartisan vote yesterday and a veto proof majority, 35 voted in favor. What it does, it has a minimum sentencing. If you’re a drug dealer, not somebody sharing drugs. Many of the former addicts that we’ve been working with to pursue this avenue to hold drug dealers accountable, even though they struggled with drugs, they’re like look, in the drug community, the addicts all share. We want to make sure that this doesn’t include people that are sharing. The amended version from the Democrats is laser focus on drug dealers, lethally selling drugs that result in death and minimal sentencing 10 years and minimal $50,000 fine. So now it’s off to the House. We need Rob Kauffman back in charge of the judicial committee and the majority to see this to the end.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “But you did get Democrats who voted yes for this. Do you think that’ll have sway on House Democrats?”

“I honestly hope so,” Mastriano said. “Because Joanna McClinton, who is the speaker of the House, she’s from Philadelphia. All our people are being affected by this, but hers are really being affected by it hard, in massive numbers. You would think that they want to do something to save the lives of their loved ones and help their community and serve their community as they have pledged to do on the Constitution. So I do think that it does help that we had six or seven Democrats break ranks and join us on it.”