Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

300 new prosecutors added to fight nation's crime

The attorney general of the United States has put 300 new prosecutors in action -- the largest number added in more than a decade.

The goal is to add some more strength to the fight against opioids, immigration violations and violent criminals. The cost to the Justice Department for the new additions will be $26 million, but the agency says that it has funded the additions by cutting out some unnecessary items from the budget. It's likely that the money comes from the $702 million that was previously eliminated from other programs the department runs.

At least 86 of those prosecutors will have their attention on opioid-related crimes. The focus isn't really surprising given the opioid epidemic that's gripped much of the nation in recent years and led to a wave of increasing criminal activity surrounding drugs. At least 42,000 people overdosed in 2016 alone from opioids like oxycontin and fentanyl. There have been numerous high-profile stories throughout the national and local news about deaths involving opioids that were obtained illegally -- many of which were laced with substances much more powerful than users realized.

Anyone manufacturing, distributing or trafficking in opioids would be wise to pay attention to the increased scrutiny that's expected once the new prosecutors get in motion. Prosecutors throughout the country have been taking an unforgiving approach to drug crimes lately.

While addicts who are charged with simple possession may get lucky enough to be steered into one of the nation's many "drug courts," anyone charged in the manufacturing or distribution end of the business could end up facing the death penalty if federal officials -- including the attorney general -- have their way. Some dealers have already been charged with varying degrees of homicide after clients unwittingly overdosed on drugs laced with fentanyl and other high-powered substances.

The harsh response to drug crimes today makes it imperative for anyone charged with trafficking or distribution to seek legal help right away.

Source: USA Today, "Jeff Sessions adds 300 prosecutors to fight opioids, crime and immigration offenses," Christal Hayes, May 16, 2018

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