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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Attorney General Jackley’s Bills to Strengthen Meth Laws Pass Senate Judiciary Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, February 08, 2018

CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215 

PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms the Attorney General sponsored bills that strengthen Distribution and Manufacture of Methamphetamine sentences in South Dakota have passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. 

“America is living a methamphetamine epidemic that is affecting South Dakota and hurting our families and communities.  If you believe meth distribution is an important public safety concern in South Dakota, please contact your legislative representatives to encourage them to support solutions to keep drug dealers out of our state,” said Jackley.

Senate Bill 63

• Increases the penalty for the distribution and manufacturing of methamphetamine that includes to minors.

• Provides for a mandatory state penitentiary sentence for the distribution and manufacture of methamphetamine. Current law provides for mandatory sentences that are not consistently applied. 

• A court may only go below the mandatory sentence if the court makes written findings that a defendant meets the following criteria that are designed to protect communities and to assist law enforcement in stopping drug distribution: 

(1) the defendant does not have a prior violent felony

(2) the defendant did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon 

(3) the defendant did not induce another participant to use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in connection with the offense;

(4) the defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense; and 

(5) the defendant has truthfully provided to the State all information and evidence the defendant has concerning illegal drugs;

(6) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person.

Senate Bill 65

• Enhance penalties for persons who distribute and manufacture controlled substances when a person dies as direct result of using that substance

o any person who for consideration intentionally and unlawfully distributes or manufactures a controlled substance and another person dies as a direct result of using that substance would have their sentence of the principal felony enhanced by two levels.

Attorney General Jackley testified today that there are presently 4 deaths in South Dakota, 3 resulting from fentanyl and 1 resulting from heroin that law enforcement are currently investigating and prosecuting.