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Rubio, Colleagues Demand Felony Murder Charges for Distribution of Deadly Fentanyl

Feb 9, 2023 | Press Releases

Illicit fentanyl remains the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18-45. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, drug dealers are increasingly targeting children and young people with fentanyl pills made to look like candy. 

In response to the surge of illicit fentanyl being trafficked across our southern border and into our communities, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues reintroduced the Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act. The bill makes the distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death, punishable by federal felony murder charges. 

Rubio criticized the Biden Administration for their failure to designate the People’s Republic of China, the largest source of precursor chemicals used in fentanyl, as a major producer of illegal drugs. He also urged the administration to take concrete measures to stem the flow of fentanyl into America.

  • “We need to stop the flow of fentanyl and punish those responsible for poisoning our communities. If the illicit sale of this drug results in death, then the seller should be charged with felony murder. That is a simple, common sense step we can take right now to help turn the tide and protect our communities.” – Senator Rubio

U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales (R-TX) reintroduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • “Fentanyl is killing Americans at record levels and poses a deadly risk to every single American. With President Biden failing to address this national security crisis, this legislation in Congress is critical to ensure criminals who traffic this deadly drug are met with severe penalties under the law. We must stop this scourge on our communities.” – Representative Gonzales

Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Katie Britt (R-AL), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) cosponsored the bill.

  • “Fentanyl, the leading cause of death in the U.S. for adults age 18 to 45, is a weapon of destruction that is stealing the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year. Those responsible for the fatalities caused by distribution of this shockingly lethal drug must be held accountable. This commonsense legislation is a step toward stopping the flow of fentanyl into America and ending the deadly drug crisis wreaking havoc on our country.” – Senator Hagerty

  • “People who knowingly distribute lethal fentanyl deserve the strictest sentence possible. For too long, people have suffered addiction and death because of this evil drug that is pouring across Joe Biden’s open southern border. Fentanyl has skyrocketed to the number one killer of young people, and to put an end to this crisis, strong actions must be taken. I am proud to join Senator Rubio in standing up for victims of this crisis, and urge the immediate passage of this critically important bill.” – Senator Scott

  • “Criminals poisoning Americans with fentanyl should be treated the same as other murders. If drug dealers and cartels push this deadly substance, they deserve to face justice.” – Senator Cassidy

  • “The fentanyl epidemic is devastating our communities, pouring through the Southern Border and killing Americans at a record high rate. Dealers who knowingly distribute this deadly drug must face a punishment that fits the crime, and that’s what we’re fighting to do. Our effort imposes felony murder charges for the criminals who willingly distribute this lethal opioid to unknowing recipients.” – Senator Ernst

  • “Fentanyl is killing young Hoosiers and cutting a path of destruction through the Midwest, and if you are peddling this poison you should pay the price.” – Senator Braun

  • “Cartels are bringing unprecedented amounts of fentanyl across our southern border due to the Biden administration’s failed policies. This is entirely unacceptable. These cartel bosses, who have taken advantage of the weakness of the Biden Administration, must be held accountable for the millions of lives they have destroyed with this horrific drug.” – Senator Cruz

  • “Kansans are dying every day from fentanyl poisoning and I’m afraid we’d be losing even more people to this horrible drug if it weren’t for Narcan. Upping the criminal penalty for illicit fentanyl distribution to felony murder sends a clear message to the dealers: look for a new profession or face a stiff sentence in federal prison.” – Senator Marshall

  • “Dealing fentanyl is not a victimless crime—it’s mass murder. The criminals peddling it deserve no less than the death penalty.” – Senator Cotton

  • “Fentanyl is stealing lives and devastating families in every corner of Alabama and America. This crisis is infiltrating our schools and our communities, and it is past time that we hold the criminals profiting off of this poison accountable. This legislation is an important part of comprehensively addressing the supply of and demand for fentanyl in our country, so we can keep our children safe and our future strong.” – Senator Britt

  • “The rising death toll and near-death crises linked to fentanyl are ruining families, taxing our healthcare systems, and hurting communities in all states, including Mississippi.  Increased criminal liability must be applied for the intentional distribution of fentanyl, which is often disguised with deadly consequences as a multitude of other prescriptions.  We need to do whatever we can to stop these dealers from hurting any more people.” – Senator Hyde-Smith