Cotton, other lawmakers, push for tougher laws for trafficking fentanyl

Cotton, other lawmakers, push for tougher laws for trafficking fentanyl
A traffic stop in New Madrid Co. led to the largest fentanyl bust in state history. (Source: Missouri State Highway Patrol)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of Republican lawmakers want to bolster mandatory minimum sentencing for trafficking fentanyl.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, along with Rep. Tom Reed of New York, introduced the bill Thursday that would reduce the amount of fentanyl required for mandatory minimum sentences to apply.

Fentanyl is "as much a weapon of mass destruction as it is a drug," Sen. Cotton said at a Thursday press conference while holding a near-empty salt shaker.

Cotton explained how that amount, less than 40 grams of fentanyl, could kill thousands of people.

Federal mandatory minimums for fentanyl apply after trafficking 40 grams or more. "That's why mandatory minimum sentences are so important, and our sentences for fentanyl are so inadequate," Cotton said.

To see the full press conference, click below.

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