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Law that punishes dealers for overdoses is used for 1st time

November 30, 2018

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A Massachusetts man is the first person charged under a new Rhode Island law that allows life sentences for drug dealers who sell drugs that lead to fatal overdose.

Newport police say 54-year-old Cary Pacheco, of Westport, was charged Thursday with delivering a controlled substance that resulted in death. A 29-year-old Newport man died of an overdose in September.

The state attorney general’s office confirmed Friday it’s the first time someone has been charged under Kristen’s Law.

The governor signed Kristen’s Law in June. It’s named for Kristen Coutu, who died in 2014 of a fentanyl overdose when she thought she was taking heroin.

Online court records don’t list a lawyer for Pacheco, who could comment on his behalf.

Another man also faces drug charges in connection with the case.

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