State Rep. Matt Simpson (R–Daphne) pre-filed legislation in January for the 2023 regular session that adds trafficking fentanyl to the list of substances subject to mandatory minimum sentences in Alabama.
House Bill 1 would add a mandatory minimum sentence of three years imprisonment and a minimum fine of $50,000 for anyone found guilty of trafficking one to two grams of fentanyl.
Those found guilty of trafficking two to four grams of fentanyl would be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a $100,000 fine. Four to eight grams of fentanyl trafficked would receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a $500,000 fine.
Anyone found guilty of trafficking eight grams or more of fentanyl would serve a minimum sentence of life in prison and pay a minimum fine of $750,000.
A second conviction of the same offense would incur an additional penalty of five years of incarceration in a state corrections facility, which is not subject to suspension or probation. A third conviction would merit an additional penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Simpson told 1819 News on Friday that he felt good about the bill's chances of being passed into law.
"I feel good about its chances," Simpson said. "The Governor getting on board was huge for it. Speaker Ledbetter has been a big advocate of this from the early stages of it. He said it was going to be a priority for the House. Sen. April Weaver is going to carry it in the Senate. She reached out about this. She's excited about it. I feel good about it, but I'm never going to count my chickens before they hatch."
On Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey urged lawmakers to pass Simpson's legislation in her State of the State address.
"Tonight, I am also urging you, our legislators, to pass House Bill One so I can sign it into law as soon as possible," Ivey said. "By doing this, we will put any traffickers of this deadly drug behind bars – and keep them there. While I cannot control what steps are being taken – or maybe better said…not being taken – at our Southern Border, I can do everything in my power to stop this drug from being a killer in Alabama."
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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