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Legislation introduced to target large-scale drug traffickers

Delaware Public Media

Two bills introduced in the Senate aim to help law enforcement crack down on large-scale drug traffickers.

Senate Bill 100 would increase penalties for possession and/or sale of large quantities of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and other illegal drugs.

It would also designate the highest tier of weights and potency – which is Tier 3 – as a violent felony meaning offenders would more likely be held on cash bail and could face stiffer sentences.

"And in doing so I think this addresses the intent of the highest level tier of possession and drug dealing with that high level drug dealer, the high level trafficker of these drugs, and the correlation that we've seen with violence is a significant tool that we now have available," said State Prosecutor Dan Logan.

Senate Bill 101 would add specific amounts of fentanyl and prescription opioids to each of the drug quantity tiers in state code used by prosecutors to file charges and by judges to set prison sentences.

State Senator Stephanie Hansen sponsors SB 101.

"This lowers the amount of fentanyl that a person possesses on them, and says that at a lower level this now is going to be treated with the seriousness that higher levels of cocaine and heroin were previously treated as. So it triggers a more serious law enforcement response at a lower level because it is much more potent than heroin and morphine," said Hansen.

SB 100 heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee, while SB 101 goes to the Senate Health & Social Services Committee. Both will be heard in committee Wednesday.

Hansen notes the Office of Defense Services has let her know they oppose both bills in their current form.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.