Crime & Courts

Sell heroin? You could be charged if someone dies from it

A proposal that aims to curb the increasing use of deadly doses of heroin by penalizing drug dealers is advancing in the Legislature.

A Senate panel sent to the floor on Tuesday a bill by Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Horry, that would allow law enforcement to arrest drug dealers on involuntary manslaughter charges if the drug they sell kills a user.

Though Hembree’s proposed law initially aimed at penalizing dealers with up to 15 years in prison, it was changed on Tuesday to five years to match the existing manslaughter law.

Hembree’s legislative district includes Horry County, which has been among the hardest hit in South Carolina by the heroin epidemic.

Several members of the S.C. House of Representatives are also working to address the rising use of opioids with a series of bills.

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