News

Grand jury calls for mandatory minimums in Pa. to fight opioids

Written by The Associated Press | May 18, 2017 4:13 AM
heroin_paraphernalia.jpg

Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

Paraphernalia confiscated in a raid on a Lebanon County heroin distribution factory in 2015.

(Norristown) -- A grand jury convened in Montgomery County to investigate rising opioid deaths has recommended mandatory minimum sentences for heroin dealers.

County District Attorney Kevin Steele says it was an uncommon use of a grand jury but he hopes their work will help fight what he called "a tsunami of death."

The 23-member panel heard testimony over 13 months before their recommendations were released Wednesday.

Members also called for a statewide online system to help addicts find available treatment.

Montgomery County saw 249 drug-related deaths in 2016, up from 177 the year before.

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