AUSTIN, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott signed an anti-fentanyl bill into law Wednesday morning.
Abbott was joined by Sen. Joan Huffman and Crime Stoppers of Houston Deputy Director Nichole Christoph in the signing of Senate Bill 768 into law at 11:30 a.m.
The bill will enhance criminal penalties against those who manufacture or distribute fentanyl in Texas. Those prosecuted will be punished for the manufacture and delivery of 4-200 grams of fentanyl, which is a minimum of 10 years in prison or a maximum of life in prison. The minimum increases to 15 years for an amount of 200-400 grams and 20 years for an amount of over 400 grams.
“Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs on the street,” Abbott said.
He said the drug has led to a rise in overdoses in the past couple of years.
Fentanyl has led to a dramatic rise in overdoses in recent years. Last year, Abbott said deaths from drug overdoses grew to 93,000, which was driven by the rise of fentanyl. He said the Texas Department of Public Safety seized enough fentanyl to kill every person in Texas and California combined, which was a 950% increase compared to last year.
According to Abbott, most of the seized fentanyl is entering Texas through the southern border.
“We have a duty to fight back against the scourge that is fentanyl in our communities, which is why I proudly signed Senate Bill 768 into law,” Abbott said. “The Biden Administration’s open border policies have opened the floodgates for this deadly drug to make its way into our communities, but we are taking action to stop this epidemic. By cracking down on the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl, we will help save lives here in Texas and across America.”