Holding drug dealers accountable for opioid deaths
For the second time, a northern Ontario police service has seen it fit to charge an accused drug trafficker with manslaughter after someone died of an opioid overdose.
The charge was laid this week by the Temiskaming Shores detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police and we could be seeing more of this.
A manslaughter charge being laid following an opioid related overdose death is a relatively new weapon for police and the courts, as they try to cope with the opioid epidemic.
“They're knowingly selling these drugs to people, knowing that the possibility of death is there. So they need to be held accountable for their actions.” said Shona Camirand, an acting sergeant for Ontario Provincial Police.
Pat Cliche from the North Bay & Area Drug Strategy Committee thinks drug dealers should have some responsibility over the products they are selling.
“If you've killed somebody from what you sold them, maybe you do need to be charged with manslaughter or even first-degree murder.” said Cliche.
OPP say when it comes to opioid related deaths, although it can be difficult to link where a batch of drugs comes from, drug dealers will be charged.
“The province is starting to take notice of the opioids and the opp is taking notice as well and these drug dealers need to be held accountable.” said Camirand.
“Enough is enough. Maybe that's the only way we're going to be able to deal with this issue in our community, because it's getting worse, it's not getting better. It's getting worse.” said Cliche.
So far in 2019, OPP in the Temiskaming area have laid two manslaughter and trafficking charges.
Police say we will see more charges like this in the future.