WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed said he’s re-introducing an act that would toughen the penalties for those convicted of fentanyl trafficking, including the imposition of the death penalty for those convicted in connection with fentanyl-related deaths or injuries.
During a teleconference with reporters Wednesday morning, Reed said that The Helping Ensure Lives Are Protected Act involves the prosecution of those charged in connection with fentanyl-related deaths or injuries. Reed said that the act comes following multiple large fentanyl seizures, including a Westchester County seizure of enough fentanyl to kill two million people.
“This level of a fentanyl seizure, I wish we would be able to say, is unique, but if you look across the country, the level of fentanyl that is being confiscated from these drug investigations is astounding,” Reed said. “This level of fentanyl trafficking has to come to an end.”
Reed said that 47 million people could have been killed by a fentanyl-loaded truck was seized at the border. Reed said, under the act, that prosecutors and U.S Attorneys would be able to pursue tougher sentences for those convicted of possessing 100 grams-plus of the fentanyl.
“This is not something to be taken lightly, this is not something to target the users of heroin or those addicted to heroin-related substances,” Reed said. “The cartels, the traffickers, the main players, if you would, who traffic this fentanyl into our country, and is literally killing thousands of folks.”
“To have the piece of the puzzle that needs to be put together in order to hold these traffickers accountable, send a message that it won’t be sustainable, it won’t be taken lightly, and that their activity is going to come with significant consequences, and the most significant consequence that law enforcement can deploy which, in my opinion, is the death penalty.”
WNYNewsNow will continue to follow this story for developments as the bill remains in Congress.