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Councillor Brian Gomes Supports Manslaughter Charge for Deadly Drug Deals

Dan McCready/TSM
Dan McCready/TSM

NEW BEDFORD – The New Bedford City Council may lend their support to a measure proposed by Governor Charlie Baker.

In August, Baker proposed a change to state law that would require a manslaughter charge against anyone who dealt drugs that resulted in a death. The charge carries a mandatory five-year prison sentence.

Speaking with WBSM’s Phil Paleologos, City Councillor At Large Brian Gomes says Massachusetts needs to take the opioid epidemic as seriously as it can.

“This has to be done on a state-wide level. (The measure) Has to send a clear message to the drug dealers: You want to it in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? You want to do it in the City of New Bedford? There’s consequences that you’re going to face as a drug dealer,” said Gomes.

Gomes bolstered his support for the measure further, saying such cases are similar to premeditated murder.

“You know what you’re doing and you know what the consequences could be. And while you’re out there trying to make money through selling drugs or whatever, you may be the cause of someone dying. Someone’s gotta be held accountable for that.”

Gomes is asking that the full City Council throw their support behind Baker’s proposal. Gomes’ motion will be considered during Thursday night’s regular council meeting.

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