Although deaths from drug overdoses are nothing new, thanks to a new policy and investigative practices by federal, state and local officials, police will now be able to really go after drug dealers who peddle illegal or "knock off" dangerous opioid drugs.

Last October, a Kennewick resident was found to have died from taking "mexis," which is the street name for a deadly drug that contains Fentanyl (among other elements), a powerful narcotic.

Now, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office have joined local police forces in a stepped up program to aggressively investigate and prosecute such opioid drug dealers. Because of those efforts, two men are now in jail over the October death, because they sold the drugs that killed the person.

Police have arrested 26-year-old Hector Medina of Pasco and 33-year-old Jubentino Soto also of Pasco, for peddling the illegal drugs. If convicted, they could face life in prison under this new program.

This new program and new law revisions will enable opioid drug dealers to be held liable for deaths or injuries suffered from drugs they peddle, even if they were not present when the drugs were taken.

This arrest is the first of it's kind in the Tri-Cities, and officials are certain there will be more to follow.

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