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Fentanyl Trafficking Law Takes Effect Tuesday

Todd Huffman/Flickr

A new law criminalizing the trafficking of the deadly drug fentanyl goes into effect in Massachusetts Tuesday. 

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid estimated to be 30-50 times more potent than heroin. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey authored the legislation making trafficking in fentanyl a crime after police last year discovered it was increasingly common for drug dealers to mix fentanyl with heroin often with deadly results for unsuspecting users.

" Like so many users out there they think they are using heroin, but are getting something more potent, more lethal," said Healey

The new law authorizes a prison sentence of up to 20 years for people convicted of fentanyl trafficking.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.