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Summit County Takes Stronger Approach to Dealing with Heroin Deaths

Photo of Margaret Scott

With heroin related deaths on the rise, Summit County law officials are taking a stronger approach to punishing those who supply deadly doses of the drug than surrounding counties.

Most offenders in the county are being slapped with the maximum charge of involuntary-manslaughter, which can mean up to 11 years in prison.

Margaret Scott is the Deputy Chief of the county’s criminal division. She says the charges are issued on a case-by-case basis and are meant to send a message to offenders.

“If someone causes the death of someone else, and they’re a dealer, we need to send a message that [if] you come into Summit County and you start selling your poison and killing people, you’re going to be held accountable--and that may include going to prison for a few years,” Scott said.

The county has seen a total of 29 indictments for those involved in heroin related deaths since 2013. By contrast, neighboring Cuyahoga County has only seen 15 people indicted for heroin deaths since 2013.