Jenkins tells Sessions to keep traffickers 'locked up'

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-WV) has asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions what can be done to ensure that the major drug traffickers, arrested in Huntington during a landmark raid, serve their time behind bars.

 “I want to make sure that your prosecutors, your law enforcement officials have the resources to make sure that we put these people behind bars, because I will tell you, there is a real concern from the public that the criminals get out faster than the reports are filed. We want them rounded up; we want them locked up,” Rep. Jenkins said to Secretary Sessions at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

 “Revolving doors are not acceptable. I’m hearing too much of that, where people are being released too quickly,” Secretary Sessions said.

“(U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart) is determined, his people are determined, the local law enforcement are great partners, and they are going after these gangs. Some say law enforcement doesn’t make a difference, I disagree. You continue, like you said, to sustain this effort and people who committed very serious crimes get serious punishment – you can reverse these trends and make your hometown a safer and better place to live in,” Secretary Sessions concluded.

 Rep. Jenkins also asked Secretary Sessions about President Trump’s proposal to institute the death penalty in particularly heinous drug trafficking cases.

 “I want to join you and the president in saying, let’s prosecute to the fullest extent possible,” Rep. Jenkins said.

 “We’re sending a new message through the department that these violent gangs, these serious organized crime groups, need to be taken down. They are a direct challenge to law, order, peace, security, and prosperity for America,” Secretary Sessions responded.

 The two also discussed how to track doctors and pharmacies who are overprescribing and overdispensing opioids, with Rep. Jenkins bringing up the example of Kermit, a West Virginia town with 392 residents that saw nine million hydrocodone pills shipped to a single pharmacy.

 “That can never happen again. That should never have happened,” Secretary Sessions said, detailing how the Department of Justice is now tracking and identifying areas where opioids are overprescribed in an effort to stop opioid abuse.

 “It’s criminal,” Rep. Jenkins said.

“It is,” Secretary Sessions replied.