CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Drug dealers whose customers die of
overdoses could face penalties of up to life in prison under a West
bill Virginia passed from the Senate to the House.
The measure would create the criminal offense of liability for
manufacturing, selling or dispensing certain controlled substances
that cause death.
It applies to the distribution of Schedule I and II controlled
substances such as crack cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles helped draft the proposal.
He says that under the current state law, he can only charge drug
dealers who sell fatal doses with delivery of a controlled
substance. That charge carries a penalty of one to 15 years in
The measure won unanimous approval from the Senate on Wednesday.