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Rep. Reynolds: Tougher laws needed for fentanyl trafficking – ‘It’s killing our youth’

This week, State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne) announced a proposal to strengthen penalties against fentanyl drug traffickers in Alabama.

Simpson wants to add the same mandatory minimum sentencing laws for fentanyl dealers as there are for traffickers of other opioids.

Friday on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” State Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville) said he supports Simpson’s proposal to put fentanyl traffickers behind bars.

“[U]nder our current trafficking laws,” Reynolds said, “we can do that, mandatory sentencing for trafficking laws. However with this fentanyl, being such a lighter volume in weight, we need verbiage to include that in our current trafficking laws, and then put that mandate on there about the sentencing guidelines.

“We’ve got to take a measure against this because it’s killing our youth.”

The lawmaker is worried about the amount fentanyl law enforcement is seeing in communities and the damage it is causing.

“One thing that concerns me today,” he said, “is even right here in Madison County we’re seeing our volume of seizures of fentanyl increase. We’re seeing now seizures of a pound, two pounds. So what it tells me is the flow is increasing, not decreasing. .. I get emails from our funeral homes here in Madison County and I’m appalled at the number I’m getting that kids 24 years old … and it’s every day.”

Reynolds blames the policies of the federal government for making the drug problem worse in Alabama and the rest of the country.

“If our national policies would change at the borders to support our customs agents and law enforcement across America, that would be a huge start,” he said. “Then, that would give them better focus on the major factors that are known to these communities, but the free flow becomes a challenge for law enforcement.”

He also believes that the country needs to be doing a better job supporting law enforcement.

“[T]he national rhetoric toward law enforcement has had an impact on our ability to recruit police officers, our ability to retain them,” he said. “It’s a very stressful situation that an officer straps on that badge and gun and yet walks out that door with the uncertainty as to whether they will be prosecuted for the very oath they take to go out and protect our communities and it’s a direct impact on our quality of life.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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