Press Releases

Feinstein, Grassley Introduce Bill to Combat Transnational Organized Crime

Establishes new penalties for drug traffickers

WashingtonU.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, have introduced legislation to help combat the international drug trade.  The Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2011 would provide the Justice Department with new tools to prosecute drug traffickers from foreign countries.

“We cannot sit idly by as transnational criminal organizations find new ways to circumvent our laws,” said Senator Feinstein.  “This bill will allow U.S. prosecutors to stay one step ahead of drug trafficking organizations.”

“Drug cartels are continually evolving, and this legislation ensures that our criminal laws keep pace,” said Senator Grassley.  “This legislation closes a loophole abused by drug traffickers that intend for drugs to end up in the United States but supply them through an intermediary.”

The Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2011, S. 1612, has three main components:

  • Establishes penalties for drug trafficking activity when individuals have reasonable cause to believe that illegal drugs will be trafficked into the United States;
  • Ensures current penalties apply to chemical producers from other countries (including producers of pseudoephedrine used for methamphetamine) that illegally ship precursor chemicals into the U.S. knowing these chemicals will be used to make illegal drugs. 
  • Ensures that members of any conspiracy to distribute controlled substances will be subject to U.S. jurisdiction when at least one member of the conspiracy intends or knows that illegal drugs will be unlawfully imported into the U.S.

This bill supports the Obama Administration’s recently released Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).