With 2.45 million lethal-level fentanyl doses intercepted this summer in Alaska, Dunleavy looks for sentencing crackdown in proposed legislation

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After law enforcement swept a record amount of illegal narcotics off the streets this summer, Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he will introduce legislation to crack down on fentanyl drug dealers with harsher sentences.

Under his proposal, if someone dies due to ingesting a controlled substance, whoever sold or distributed that substance to the victim will be charged with murder in the second degree, an unclassified felony that comes with a sentencing range of 15-99 years.

“Public safety has and will continue to be our number one priority. These drug dealers are killing Alaskans with illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-laced illicit opioids,” Dunleavy said. “We need to use every tool at our disposal to hold these dealers accountable to the fullest extent possible. By increasing criminal penalties and eliminating ‘good time’ credit for dealers of illicit drugs, our prosecutors can do better.”

The Alaska Department of Public Safety, along with local and federal law enforcement partners, seized over 212 pounds of illegal narcotics across the state this summer. That haul included 2.45 million potentially fatal doses of illicit fentanyl (5,000 grams), 22,441 grams of heroin, 22,865 grams of methamphetamine, 13,306 grams of cocaine, and many other illicit narcotics that were intercepted since May.

Alaska State Troopers say 25 arrests were also made between May 1 and Sept. 30, and that the amount of illegal drugs intercepted is double what was intercepted in 2021. Most of the fentanyl is coming from China through Mexico and was seized in Juneau, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, and Anchorage. Kodiak was a hot spot in September, when troopers seized $656,000 in fentanyl.

Under the proposal by Dunleavy, there would be no “good time” available to drug dealers who serve time in prison. Some crimes, he said, are just not deserving of early release. Peddling poison is one of those crimes.

The governor is also going to propose more uniform sentencing standards for vehicular homicide. Alaska criminal statute contains no specific vehicular homicide statute. State prosecutors are faced with bringing manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, or murder in the second-degree charges in the event of a homicide involving a vehicle. This has led to prosecutors seeking a variety of sentences handed down by judges, which has created sentencing disparities.

Dunleavy’s proposal would create the following class of vehicular homicide statutes:

  • Aggravated vehicular homicide – Where the person causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle and manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. This offense would be an unclassified felony (99-year max).
  • Vehicular homicide – where the person recklessly causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle. This offense would be a class A felony (20-year max).
  • Negligent vehicular homicide – where the person acts with criminal negligence and causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle. This offense would be a class B felony (10-year max).

The proposal, which will come in the form of legislation for the 2023 legislative session, is at this link.

22 COMMENTS

  1. The only way you put a stop to it is to put them to death, and not one of those prolonged 10-15 year death penalties.

    • Absolutely, No need to continue the cost of incarnation maintenance of these worthless pieces of civilization. The last thing a drug dealer should hear is ” Regular or Menthol?”

  2. The punishment ought to match the crime. Peddle death and despair, and one ought to be able to expect to reap it.

  3. This is OK with me, but the State of Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, now split into two departments so there can be additional bureaucracy, regularly tries to convince Alaskans that drugs like fentanyl, heroine, cocaine, meth, etc. are a disease rather than a choice made by users. So state government needs to have an internal meeting to decide how to speak with one voice. Government is sending seriously conflicting messages, each with its own budget in mind. It seems to be the case that most users provide drugs to other users at one time or another, so users are dealers and dealers are users, and state government cannot reach a decision as to whether users are criminals or patients (and yes, saying they can be both is entirely stupid).

    That’s how it is I guess, but one part of state government, the public safety crowd, wants to clamp down on this – no doubt with a huge fiscal note for this legislation – while another part of that same state government wants to boost its own budget by taking the touchy-feely approach. Next time oil hits $40 we will find inconsistencies and conflicting objects throughout state government, but for right now we all want to see more and more government as it’s as free as SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, etc.

    • That’s all fine and dandy, but then you get juries who say they can award the death penalty but when it comes right down to it they haven’t got the stomach. We used to hang people, we used to draw and q.uarter them, we used to get in their heads. That used to draw a huge crowds. I’m not so sure it would anymore. We think of ourselves as civilized. But at the same time we kill unborn babies, we practice road rage when somebody honks their horn at us or flips us off, society has lost their freaking mind lately. I don’t think anything is changed in the past 200 years except that we don’t burn witches anymore.

  4. Sure it all sounds good, right? Putting more people in the Hoosgow will solve all the problems. Except it also means building even more prisons and picking up the tab for all of this incarceration.

    Fentanyl was developed by a man who watched a loved one die a painful death because of a morphine shortage. Fentanyl is easy and cheap to produce, it is 100 times more powerful than Heroine and it comes to the USA from CHINA. In fact, according to a NYT article, China has over 160,000 labs making the stuff. It’s a cottage industry in China. Turns out that the Chi-Coms well remember their history and how the British flooded China with Opium in the 1800’s. The Chi-Com’s are now actively pushing Fentanyl into to the U.S. It is but one part of their war plan to weaken America.

    What can we do to stop this nonsense? Make a fuss and demand that our Borders be secured. Elect Leaders that will actually secure our borders. Pressure our Political Leaders to investigate the how and why of Fentanyl smuggling and charge those responsible. Also quit acting like a bunch of stupid Spruce Hens standing in the road and realize that WE the PEOPLE have the power to stop this nonsense.

    Or, do nothing and learn to live in an addicted, third world, crime infested, Sh*t Hole with lots and lots of prisons.

    • Watch “Dope Sick” on Hulu. The FDA telling doctors that Oxy is not addictive started this resurgence of opiates, and not many know about it because the FDA and news outlets are all bought out by big pharma’s advertising revenue. The media and FDA have never been held accountable and the pathways to corruption have never been exposed and cut off. The media is our biggest problem. You can’t kill a snake in the dark and the snake knows to protect the light switch.

      The media is also manipulated by partisan groups that hide their agendas. The media is our single biggest problem. If the media was objectively covering the border crisis, Democrats would stop their rhetoric that encourages the border problems that allow the smuggling to take place. That would cut off the supply. And if the media would expose the issues of the FDA, Oxy, homeless communities, inner cities, etc, it would cut off the demand. Liberals wouldn’t be driving us off the cliff in so many ways if their trusted news sources weren’t busy flattering themselves and keeping liberals dumb, arrogant, entitled, and authoritative. It’s amazing what could be solved if Alaska Public Media and ADN and the like weren’t so hell bent on making their liberal tribe look so holier than thou.

      How do we fix the media? I don’t know. It seems as hard as making a drug addict quit drugs. They are masters at using every angle to lie to themselves and rationalize their behavior because they simply can’t quit wanting that next hit, and they have a very large community of support that is there to enable each other.

  5. Is it me or is the good governor MIA on so many issues? When I look for leadership I do not see much from him.

  6. Thank you, Governor Dunleavy.
    .
    May we offer three recommendations to the proposed legislation:
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    (1) Add presumptive sentencing for drug trafficking and vehicular homicide.
    .
    (2) Add human trafficking and presumptive sentencing for human trafficking, e.g., “Increased Penalty for Human Trafficking” and “No ‘Good Time’ For Human Traffickers”.
    .
    (3) Add presumptive forfeiture of all property and money used in commission of drug and human trafficking offenses.
    .
    Purpose of the additions is to reduce the possibility of Courts circumventing intent of the legislation.
    .
    Thanks again, Governor.

  7. Will we be getting some judges that aren’t delicate little flowers as well?

    Many of us believe the issue isn’t that we need another law, it’s that we need the ones we have to be enforced.

  8. When your boat is sinking do you just sit and bail or do you plug the leak? We need to secure our southern border or more and more will just flow in. There is no shortage of drug runners and our jails are like hotels to them. Compounding the problem will be the added caseloads when we have a shortage of public defenders, prosecutors, etc. Fix the border by plugging the leak.

  9. And just like that the voices of thousands of socialists/democrats cried out, “Racism!” “Compassionate sentencing!” “No warehousing people in jails just because of drug laws.”

  10. I watched the presser and came away with the feeling that the governor was doing all that he could, but will need the help of the people, first to be re-elected and then to elect the type of legislators that will see this through. Yes, Brandon still controls the border, but he will not be there indefinitely. And unless the democrats get all those millions they have let in registered to vote, as they are trying to do in many states, soon the lefties will be thrown out. Could be for quite awhile, as this wokism added to their dictatorial cancel culture and labeling as “misinformation” anything and everybody who disagrees with them, smacks too much as the authoritarianism that it is. That is the trouble with democracy, but that is also its strength. Let’s all do our part and be sure to vote against these people and send them out to pasture. Rank Red!

  11. Conservatives are hoping voters will over look efforts to take away personal privacy rights and social security by talking about crimes and guns

    • Frank, are you saying that there isn’t an obvious problem on the Border? Really?

      As for “personal privacy rights” are you talking about the “Kill Baby Kill” industry? I think the Supremes corrected a longstanding error in that decision, meaning it is a State’s Issue and not a Federal one, meaning that the State’s decide, huh, that is just so weird isn’t it Frank, I mean actually ruling on the Constitutional merits of a case, the Gall!
      Sadly Frank, your party is morally, spiritually and intellectually bankrupt and void of any ideas left to run on save for misdirection and invective. Think I’m wrong? Just look how well your fellow leftist HANDLERS of that Dolt named Biden have done running the country!

  12. I’m 100 percent with the Governor on this one…For what it’s worth…Most likely all that will really happen is we will see an increase in “Charge Bargaining”

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