Holding drug dealers accountable for overdose deaths
Following manslaughter charges this week in North Bay, police say there's a big push these days to hold drug traffickers accountable for their actions and more charges could be on the way.
Some drugs are lethal, but that doesn't seem to stop people from taking them and others from selling them.
“I mean, people that are drug addicts know this stuff can kill them and they have it in their hand and they still use it. It just it shows you the power of addiction.” said detective Jeff Warner, of North Bay Police Service.
Following an overdose related death in July, a 54-year-old North Bay woman was charged earlier this week with manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.
But people handling these cases in court say laying charges like this can be difficult.
“There's a causation issue that has to be addressed. So, usually it takes some time for an investigation to unfold, and you need the medical expert opinion, first of all, that would indicate the death is a result of a particular drug or several drugs in combination.” said Crown Attorney Russell Wood.
Across Canada though, cases where a suspected drug dealer is charged with manslaughter have been popping up more frequently.
And North Bay police say traffickers they encounter will face the appropriate charges when a death occurs.
“I do want it to send a message that if people are out there selling a substance that's known to take people's lives that we will do everything we can to hold them accountable for that.” said Warner.
Police say in addition to this investigation they are currently looking at four other cases where traffickers could see similar charges.