Carroll Report Maryland State's Attorney Uncategorized

Ready, Tomlinson Introduce Bill Making the Distribution of Heroin and Fentanyl Causing Injury or Death a Crime

The bill commemorates Victoria Garofolo and Scottie Broadfoot – two young lives lost to drug overdoses in Carroll County.

In a heart-wrenching testimony that echoed through the hallowed halls of the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, Taneytown resident Scott Broadfoot Sr. bared his soul, wearing a shirt adorned with the image of his late 21-year-old son, Scottie. The tragic tale of Scottie’s 2019 demise due to a fentanyl overdose unfolded in emotional detail, leaving not a dry eye in the room.

“Scottie was deeply loved and will be forever missed, and will never be forgotten,” Broadfoot proclaimed.

Broadfoot joined Maryland legislators Sen. Justin Ready and Del. Chris Tomlinson, Republicans from Carroll County, to advocate for a proposed law that would hand the Maryland court system the authority to lock away those responsible for selling fentanyl or heroin to overdose victims for up to two decades.

The bill, sponsored by Ready and Tomlinson, was unveiled in a press conference attended by Carroll County State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker, Sheriff Jim DeWees, and a devoted group of supporters. The bill not only seeks to bring drug dealers to justice but also extends criminal immunity to Good Samaritans assisting individuals facing a medical emergency induced by heroin or fentanyl.

Senator Justin Ready speaks about the legislation while Delegate Chris Tomlinson, to the right, looks on.

Senate Bill 1075 and House Bill 1245, also known as Victoria and Scottie’s Law, aims to commemorate two young lives lost to drug overdoses in Carroll County – Victoria Garofolo and Scottie Broadfoot. The bills garnered bipartisan support, with Democrats Del. Anne R. Kaiser and Del. Lesley J. Lopez joining the cause, emphasizing the urgency of the matter transcending party lines.

“Over 30 states, including California, already have similar laws in place that allow prosecutors to hold opioid drug dealers accountable who sell a product that kills their customer. Introducing legislation to stop the folks who are putting this garbage into the hands of our sons & daughters is far from a radical idea” said Delegate Tomlinson.

“About 200 people tragically die every day in the United States from a fentanyl overdose. This bill goes after the drug dealers who are selling this poison to our loved ones with no regard for their lives. The fact that these bills have bi-partisan co-sponsorship shows how this has touched all of us in our communities and often our families. We must take action now,” said Senator Ready.

Meanwhile, DeWees highlighted the existing legal loopholes that drug dealers exploit, avoiding charges like gross negligence and involuntary manslaughter. With about 40 to 50 deaths annually from overdoses in Carroll County alone, State’s Attorney Shoemaker passionately declared, “We need a legislative fix.”

Victoria and Scottie’s Law, backed by 24 other states with similar legislation, emerges as a potent weapon against drug dealers. The tragic story of Scottie Broadfoot, who succumbed to a lethal cocktail of cocaine and fentanyl, becomes a rallying cry for justice. Broadfoot Sr. ardently believes that this law would have prevented the drug dealer responsible for his son’s death from roaming free.

April Babcock, founder of the advocacy group Lost Voices of Fentanyl, echoed the urgency, sharing the gut-wrenching tale of losing her son Austen to an overdose in 2019. “We have a crisis in Maryland,” she declared, demanding accountability for drug dealers.

Victoria and Scottie’s Law explicitly targets drug distributors, ensuring that the focus remains on those peddling death rather than those in need of treatment. Tomlinson emphasized that the legislation is meticulously crafted to strike at the heart of the opioid epidemic without unfairly penalizing addicts seeking help.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.


Subscribe to the Informed Carroll newsletter and stay updated.