Drugs

South Dakota Chief Justice Steven Jensen gestures as he participates in oral arguments with other state Supreme Court justices on March 23, 2023, in Brookings. (David Bordewyk/South Dakota Newspaper Association)

Drug dealer asks Supreme Court to overturn conviction tied to former roommate’s testimony

BY: - August 31, 2023

A failure to inform jurors about a key witness’ immunity from prosecution unfairly tainted a drug dealer’s chance for a fair trial, his defense attorney told the South Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday in Pierre.  A jury found Todd W. Stevens, of Brookings, guilty of six drug-related counts at his trial one year ago. Stevens […]

Deb and Ray Cullen, of Shippensburg, Pa., center and right, show a photo of their son, Zachary, in the office of their congressman, GOP Rep. John Joyce, left. Zachary died nine months ago at 23 of a drug overdose involving cocaine laced with illicit fentanyl. The Cullens traveled to the U.S. Capitol on May 25, 2023, to watch the House vote on the HALT Fentanyl Act. (Ashley Murray/States Newsroom)

Fentanyl-related drugs permanently made criminal under bill passed by U.S. House

BY: - May 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Thursday in an effort to curb staggering overdose deaths from illegal fentanyl substances that are illicitly produced and up to 50 times stronger than heroin. The HALT Fentanyl Act, passed on a 289-133 vote with 74 Democratic votes and support from the Biden administration, would […]

(Darwin Brandis/iStock Getty Images Plus)

As opioids overdose deaths keep rising, report urges lawmakers to develop new approaches

BY: - March 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers should view America’s staggering opioid crisis, including the rise of illicit fentanyl, through an “ecosystems” approach, argues a massive RAND Corporation report published Thursday. That means they should examine the gaps and interconnections among emergency response, data collection, education, treatment, housing and law enforcement, the report advises. The 600-page volume — which […]

Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, Sept. 23, 2016, in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Funding needed to curb fentanyl smuggling at ports of entry, administration officials say

BY: - February 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — Biden administration officials at a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday on the deadly illicit drug fentanyl said they need more money for better screening technology at ports of entry at the Southern border. They also said the U.S. needs to keep pressure on China due to its role in the sale of chemicals used […]