Fentanyl crisis: State leaders, victims talk dangers and possible solutions

Fentanyl crisis: State leaders, victims talk dangers and possible solutions

FRANKLIN, Wis. (CBS 58)-- Local, state and federal officials got together Thursday morning, Aug. 17 for a roundtable discussion to talk about the ongoing fentanyl crisis in our state.

The discussion took place at the Franklin Police Department.

CBS 58 News heard from a mother who said her son died of a fentanyl overdose in 2020. She asked leaders to enact stricter laws to hold those accountable for their actions.

"He was poisoned by a very dangerous and reckless woman who had priorly killed another man, six months prior, and she is out walking free right now," said Anita Charlet.

Charlet's son, Josh, was only 29 when he died. He was rushed to the hospital and in a coma for two weeks. He never came back home.

"She got off on a plea deal because she gave up the name of the main drug person and she only got probation," Charlet added.

She said she wants there to be consequences so that no other family has to go through what she has.

"When we think of the dangers of fentanyl, the amount that’s been captured by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, so far this year, is a volume that's enough to kill three billion people," said Republican State Rep. Bryan Steil.

State Rep. Chuck Wichgers said a bill he's been working on (formerly known as the "fentanyl bill" now renamed as the "poison bill") for over a year, aims to make it stricter for those accused of engaging in fentanyl-related cases.

"Right now, one of the things we heard today is that people are being caught poisoning drugs, people are dying, and they're not being prosecuted and they're reoffending," said Rep. Wichgers.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Daniel Hughes said, it's just as scary for law enforcement to deal with the substance that merely takes two milligrams to kill.

"Since 2015, the numbers I have is 3,475 people...we’re losing our kids, we’re losing our community and something has to be done about it," Hughes said.

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