House Bill 469 — Trafficking heroin and fentanyl

Lindsay Atkinson 2020 House bill ratings Leave a Comment

Bill description: HB 469 would reform minimum drug sentencing laws on heroin trafficking and create new laws on trafficking fentanyl.

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Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non- violent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes? 

HB 469 would change state laws on heroin trafficking to better distinguish between individuals who possess heroin for personal use and those who have it for trafficking. Specifically, it raises the threshold for someone to be considered trafficking from being  “knowingly in actual or constructive possession of” 2 grams to 5 grams. This more accurately distinguishes between a misdemeanor possession and a felony possession.

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The bill also changes the law regarding minimum sentences for trafficking, raising the amount that triggers each minimum. Specifically:

  • The amount a person must possess to have a minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine goes up from 2-7 grams to 5-10 grams
  • The amount that triggers a sentence of 5 years (down from 10 years in current law) of prison and a $15,000 fine increases from 7-27 grams to 10-27 grams
  • Possession of 28 grams or more would result in a minimum sentence of 10 years, down from the current 15

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However, the bill adds into Idaho law a new felony charge for trafficking fentanyl.

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And the bill adds in new minimum sentencing requirements for fentanyl trafficking, which are consistent with the changes that the bill makes to sentencing requirements for  heroin.

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