Iowa law looks to crack down on heroin dealers

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:11 AM CDT
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MONTROSE, Ia. (WGEM) - Heroin dealers in Iowa may face stiffer penalties under a new law signed by Governor Kim Reynolds.

The law would impose stiffer penalties for those caught with 100 grams or more of heroin, an amount roughly the size of a softball.

Lee County Narcotics Task Force commander Chad Donaldson said while methamphetamine is the primary drug they see in Lee County, they have seen heroin trickling into the county.

He said, without action, heroin could become a major problem in Lee County in the next five to 10 years. He said upping the penalty for possession of such large amounts needed to happen.

“It puts a more realistic level or weight on those items that’s still, in my opinion, would put that individual that’s possessing that quantity in the realm where they should be in the first place as far as penalties,” Donaldson said.

He says this bill would target dealers because users would only have between one to five grams on them.

Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said finding dealers in Lee County can be a challenge. He said users are cautious because they don’t want their dealers to get caught because it could eliminate their fix.

He said lawmakers had the right idea when it came to keeping heroin from spreading across the state.

“They’ve learned from the methamphetamine epidemic and they’re applying what they’ve learned to the heroin issues and they’re getting ahead of it,” Weber said. “They see the heroin coming in, in the larger cities in our state, and they are just getting out in front of it because they know eventually it’ll come to the more rural areas like ours.”

He said the stiffer penalties would also come in handy for keeping the dealers from operating in the state out of fear of the harsher penalties.

The law goes into effect July 1.

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