Victims’ Advocacy Group Sues Snapchat For Facilitating Sale Of Pills That Caused Overdose Deaths
In 2022, law enforcement throughout the United States seized enough fentanyl to kill the country’s entire population. The amount of illegal fentanyl confiscated this year was nearly twice the amount confiscated last year. It stands to reason, then, that fentanyl, the drug that causes more fatal overdoses than any other drug, is everywhere. In fact, most of the victims of fentanyl overdoses knew that they were taking drugs that had not been prescribed to them, but they did not know that fentanyl was an ingredient. In some cases, fentanyl was a component of a white powder that the victims believed was cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, and in some cases, it was simply imperceptibly small white dots on cannabis leaves. In most cases, though, the deadly dose of fentanyl came in the form of a counterfeit pill made to look like a legally manufactured prescription pill containing hydrocodone or another prescription opioid. Online transactions play a major role in the distribution of these counterfeit pills. Some dealers, like the infamous OxyMonster who is currently serving a prison sentence, operate on the darkweb, but other counterfeit drug transactions take place under the bright lights of Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, and Snapchat. If you are being accused of buying or selling counterfeit prescription drugs online, contact a Florida drug offenses attorney.
How Closely Do Social Media Platforms Monitor Evidence of Drug Sales?
Social media platforms employ moderators to screen content for evidence of illegal activity before and after posting. Users can also report posts where users advertise or solicit illegal drugs. Despite this, the Internet remains a main source of illegal opioids, especially counterfeit pills. During the pandemic, overdose deaths among people below the age of 20 doubled; 84 percent of these overdoses involved fentanyl. Many of the young victims found the drugs through social media platforms and bought them by using payment apps.
28 families of teens and young adults who died from accidental overdoses on fentanyl have filed a lawsuit against Snapchat. While Snapchat is not the only platform where illegal drug sales have been detected, it is the one that the plaintiffs cited as the source of the drugs that caused their family members’ overdoses.
All of this means that social media posts are relevant as evidence in drug cases. Messages you exchanged on social media can play a role in your case. Whether these messages and social media posts are admissible in court depends on the circumstances in which the prosecutors obtained them and how they relate to the alleged drug crime. Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to persuade the judge that evidence related to your social media activity is not admissible in court.
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Drug Possession Cases
A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for illegal possession of prescription pills that you bought online. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.