FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2023
SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE FIGHTS BACK AGAINST FENTANYL
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Senate, under Republican Leadership, passed two bills this week addressing the fentanyl epidemic within the State. Senate Bill 1 establishes the crime of “Fentanyl-Induced Homicide”, punishable by up to thirty years in prison. Senate Bill 153 requires that any individual found guilty of trafficking fentanyl receives mandatory prison time.
“This week the South Carolina Senate passed bills making trafficking fentanyl and homicide by fentanyl illegal,” said Senator Greg Hembree, the former 15th Circuit Solicitor who spearheaded the Senate debate. “The SC House has passed a similar trafficking fentanyl bill and we look forward to quickly reconciling the bills so that law enforcement has the tools to fight this deadly pandemic.”
Senate Republicans listened to the families who shared stories of loved ones lost to fentanyl and voted to hold the perpetrators accountable. “Like many other states, South Carolina is experiencing an epidemic of people dying from fentanyl overdoses. I introduced this bill to give law enforcement another tool in the effort to save lives and to get tougher on those trafficking this dangerous drug in our State,” said Senator Tom Young, the primary sponsor of S. 153.
The men and women of law enforcement increasingly encounter fentanyl in South Carolina communities. These bills will help get this poison off the streets so they can return home to their families safely at the end of the day. Retired police officer, Senator Brian Adams, introduced S. 1 to make death by fentanyl a homicide. “As of now, law enforcement does not have the ability to make the charge of fentanyl-induced homicide. Passing this bill gives officers the ability to hold those trafficking this dangerous drug into our communities accountable,” Senator Adams said.
We will continue to work with the House of Representatives to get these bills to the Governor’s desk.