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Drug middlemen can face felony charges

Several suspects have emerged as potential police targets in the drug-related death of a Grand Rapids woman. The 27-year-old victim died in July on a piece of playground equipment in a city park after injecting a mixture of heroin laced with fentanyl.

A woman who was at the park with her child discovered the body. The dead woman was still wearing the hospital ID bracelet from a local health care facility where she received treatment earlier in the day for a prior overdose.

2017 policy change made more drug cases possible

The Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) officer who responded to the call was able to alert undercover vice detectives who then responded and developed a daisy-chain of suspects in the case.

Because of the policy changes that were implemented in October 2017, the GRPD was able to deploy a vice detective to the overdose scene to use the victim's phone to develop suspects in alleged felony drug cases.

Texts show drugs changed hands several times

In this particular overdose case, the individual who allegedly turned up to deliver the drugs to the undercover officer was not the person with whom the narc had been communicating.

This is how someone who may have had a more prominent role in a drug distribution case can offload some of their criminal liability onto someone who might conceivably be doing the exchange simply for a share of the drugs.

When users become dealers

Simply being a user of hard drugs places addicts in perilous positions. However, the ante is upped considerably if the addicts allow their addiction to leave them open to committing alleged felonious acts in order to get their next high.

The stakes are high in a felony drug arrest. When your life and liberty are on the line, it is time to act quickly and decisively. It is a challenge for the prosecution to build a solid case beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty of the charge of delivering drugs that cause someone's death. Nonetheless, they can still press drug delivery charges against defendants who are basically just desperate addicts.

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