Cotton, Blackburn Push Back Against Early Release for Fentanyl Traffickers
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) introduced the No Early Release for Fentanyl Traffickers Act, a bill that would prevent high-level fentanyl traffickers from qualifying for early-release credits.
“Fentanyl traffickers, who killed more than 20,000 Americans last year, should not be eligible for reduced sentencing,” said Senator Cotton. “Given fentanyl’s incredible capability for the destruction of human life, I am thankful for Congressman Blackburn’s leadership in the House and her dedication to ending the opioid crisis in Tennessee.”
“In 2017, fentanyl overdoses killed 500 Tennesseans – a 70% increase over 2016,” said Congressman Blackburn. “It is clear that active steps must be taken to get these drugs off the streets, and this solution will keep the public safe and ensure that dangerous fentanyl traffickers will serve their full sentences in prison. I thank Senator Cotton for his diligent work on this issue in the Senate and look forward to continuing to work with him to bring an end to the opioid crisis.”
· Today, fentanyl traffickers are eligible for early release time credits so they can reduce their time in prison by 54 days for each year served, or about 15% of their sentence.
· This means that a fentanyl trafficker who is sentenced to 10 years can be back on the streets in 8.5 years.
· While these time credits may be appropriate for some federal prisoners, trafficking fentanyl is serious enough that the offender should serve the full sentence.