TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - On Monday, Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp reacted to President Trump's proposed death penalty for drug traffickers.
"I am not an advocate of going after the death penalty for those individuals that are selling narcotics," Sheriff Tharp said. "But, I do believe that those individuals that have sold heroin, fentanyl to individuals who have died should be punished."
Sheriff Tharp was integral in the creation of the D.A.R.T program that helps those who suffer an opioid overdose avoid jail time through intervention programs. The program has been looked at and replicated around the state.
Lucas County was also one of the first in the state to begin charging opioid dealers and traffickers with manslaughter if a buyer overdosed and died.
Sheriff Tharp says the death penalty is completely unnecessary to hold over these criminals heads, as the thought of decades in prison is already enough to give some dealers a second thought about their actions.
"I do believe that people think about it, and I do believe that those are coaching tools for family members, for friends, for people that are involved in dealing," Sheriff Tharp explained. "They know that there is going to be a ramification if someone dies from the drugs that they have sold."
Sheriff Tharp believes the work in Ohio is making progress, but says this could be a fight that could last another eight to 10 years.