United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice And New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster Form Joint Team To Prosecute Drug Overdose Cases
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Today, United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice and New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster announced the formation of an inter-office team of experienced, career prosecutors targeting the prosecution of opiate overdose deaths in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has the third-highest rate of per capita drug overdose deaths nationwide. Four hundred and thirty-three individuals died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire in 2015. Two hundred and eighty-three of these deaths resulted from overdoses of fentanyl, either alone or in combination with other drugs.
The purpose of the team is to increase and coordinate the prosecutorial resources focused on overdose deaths. Attorney General Foster explained: “This effort builds on the initiative started by my office at the end of 2015 to treat drug overdose deaths as crime scenes, and to bring to justice those who have sold drugs to overdose victims.” United States Attorney Rice emphasized: “Our joint team effort to prosecute those who are criminally responsible for overdose deaths is a critical element of the multi-faceted law enforcement approach needed to combat the drug epidemic in our state.”
Both United States Attorney Rice and Attorney General Foster praised the tremendous work done by law enforcement to fight the current epidemic: “We are deeply grateful for the incredible work being done by local, state and federal law enforcement and by the County Attorneys, and their tireless commitment to fighting drug crimes on every front. Our prosecutors are committed to collaborating with our law enforcement partners and the County Attorneys’ offices to hold accountable those who are engaging in or profiting from the distribution of illegal drugs in our state.”
The inter-office team includes all of the drug prosecutors in both the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire.