Arizona Increases Prison Sentences for Fentanyl Dealers with Ashley Dunn Act

Investigative Article: Uncovering the Truth about Fentanyl Dealers in Arizona

In recent years, the United States has been facing a growing opioid epidemic, with fentanyl being one of the most devastating drugs contributing to this crisis. Arizona is no exception, as it has seen a sharp rise in fentanyl-related deaths and overdose cases. In response, the state has introduced the Ashley Dunn Act, which aims to increase prison sentences for fentanyl dealers. But how effective is this law? Is it the right approach to tackle the fentanyl crisis? In this investigative article, we will uncover the truth about fentanyl dealers in Arizona and examine the implications of the Ashley Dunn Act.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is commonly used in medical settings for the treatment of severe pain, such as in cancer patients. However, illegally manufactured fentanyl has flooded the streets, often mixed with other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. This makes it more dangerous and unpredictable, as users may not realize that they are taking fentanyl and risk overdosing.

The Fentanyl Crisis in Arizona

According to a report by the Arizona Department of Health Services, there were 1,717 opioid deaths in the state in 2018, representing a 35% increase from the previous year. Fentanyl was involved in 1,010 of those deaths, a 76% increase from 2017. This is a concerning trend that requires urgent action from the state.

The Ashley Dunn Act

The Ashley Dunn Act, named after a 20-year-old Arizona woman who died from a fentanyl overdose in 2018, was signed into law on March 2, 2021. The act increases the mandatory minimum sentence for dealers of fentanyl from five to ten years in prison, with a maximum sentence of life. It also requires defendants to serve 80% of their sentence before being eligible for release.

How Effective is the Ashley Dunn Act?

While the Ashley Dunn Act sends a strong message that fentanyl dealers will face harsher punishments, it remains to be seen whether it will actually reduce fentanyl-related deaths and overdoses. Some critics argue that the act does not address the root causes of the fentanyl crisis, such as addiction, poverty, and mental health issues. Others point out that mandatory minimum sentences are not always effective in deterring drug trafficking and may disproportionately impact marginalized communities.

Comparing Arizona's Sentencing Guidelines to Other States

Arizona is not the only state that has increased penalties for fentanyl dealers. Several other states, such as Florida, Ohio, and New Hampshire, have also implemented similar laws in recent years. However, the severity of the penalties varies widely between states. For instance, Ohio mandates a minimum sentence of only three years, while New Hampshire requires a minimum of 20 years.

Defenses to Dealing Fentanyl

If you or someone you know is facing charges of dealing fentanyl, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney. There may be several defenses available, such as arguing that the defendant did not know that the substance contained fentanyl or that the police conducted an illegal search or seizure. A skilled attorney can review the evidence and build a strong defense strategy.

The Role of Federal Defense Attorney Josh Kolsrud

If you are looking for a reputable and experienced federal defense attorney in Arizona, look no further than Josh Kolsrud. With over a decade of experience in criminal defense, Mr. Kolsrud has successfully defended clients facing charges of drug trafficking, fraud, and other federal crimes. He understands the complexities of federal law and will fight tirelessly for your rights and freedom.


The fentanyl crisis in Arizona is a grave issue that requires a multifaceted approach. While the Ashley Dunn Act may be a step in the right direction, it is not a panacea for the problem. It is essential to address the underlying factors that drive fentanyl use, such as poverty, addiction, and mental illness, and provide effective prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services. If you are facing charges of dealing fentanyl, seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney like Josh Kolsrud. Together, we can work towards a safer and healthier Arizona.

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