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FL Sen. Rick Scott introduces Border Crisis Bill to address influx of Fentanyl

Family provided picture of 29 year old Jenny.{p}{/p}
Family provided picture of 29 year old Jenny.

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More than 6,000 people died from Fentanyl overdoses in Florida in 2020 , according to the Department of Health.

29 year old Jenny Esposito of Lake Worth was one of them.

"Jenny had a really bad weekend, and I think she needed something to take the edge off," Jenny's mother, Karen, told CBS 12 News. "She went upstairs at my house and took something that she didn’t realize was 100 % Fentanyl. I went upstairs to get her because we were going shopping and she was just laying there like an angel."

Karen, says in the two years since Jenny’s death, she’s taken it on herself to learn as much as she can about Fentanyl. Where it’s made. How it gets here. She has rallied in Washington DC calling for more law enforcement at the border.

Officials know migrants are carrying it in. Sometimes that’s part of their deal with smugglers who bring them here.

In 2021, ten thousand pounds of fentanyl were seized at the southern border.

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The thousands of pounds of the drug that make it across are mixed in with other drugs like cocaine, heroin and counterfeit pain pills. Users never know what they’re taking.

"It's coming in in droves, all those people are just coming in and bringing it with them, the cartels are sending it in. I don’t think anything is being done," Karen said.

Florida Senator Rick Scott is doing something, recently introducing the “End Fentanyl Act."

The centerpiece of the legislation deals with making sure all border agents are conducting the same rigorous inspections at our border crossings.

"The Secretary of Homeland Security and Joe Biden have decided to have a completely open border, so it makes every city a border city," Sen. Scott said.

Senator Scott, who served two terms as Florida governor, knows how the border crisis is impacting Florida police agencies. They’re responding to the overdose calls and drug crime in record numbers.

Earlier this week, Scott was meeting with sheriffs from around the state, and the group discussed the urgent need for more man-power and tougher policy.

"Ultimately, we have to secure the border, its just a simple as that. The Biden Administration, at some point, I hope people demand that their federal government does what its supposed to do, have a secure border," Sen. Scott told CBS 12 News.

Discussing how the drug crisis can affect anyone and everyone, from all walks of life, the senator told the story of a woman whose son came home from the Air Force to surprise her for her birthday. A friend had gave him a Xanax, bought online. "He was dead within five minutes, and that’s happening all across the country," Sen. Scott said.

"Jenny was a college educated young lady, very smart, helping people. It can happen to anybody, " Karen Esposito-Sherman said.

In Florida, drug dealers can be charged with first degree murder if they sell to a person who then dies of an overdose. That’s a mandatory life sentence.

Senator Scott and Senator Rubio are now pushing another bill that would expand that policy nationwide.

It's still early in the review process on Capitol Hill.

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