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Gov. Holcomb Signs Two Bills Aimed At Helping Law Enforcement Build Criminal Cases

Posted On June 02, 2017

By Travis Thayer

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Governor Eric Holcomb has signed two bills that are considered essential to law enforcement’s ability to build criminal cases for conviction of wrongdoers.

On Thursday, the governor signed Senate Enrolled Act 322 and House Enrolled Act 1406.

SEA 322 will require every person arrested for a felony to submit a DNA sample. The new law will go a long way to exonerate the innocent and provide identification of the guilty through DNA collection.

The second of the two bills, HEA 1406, takes a three-pronged approach to attacking the drug epidemic. The bill enhances sentencing for heroin dealers by allowing law enforcement and prosecutors to aggregate multiple drug sales within a 90-day period that reach a certain total weight.

Secondly, the new law makes dealing in heroin a non-suspendible Level 2 or Level 3 felony if the person has a prior conviction.

The bill also makes theft of a controlled substance from a pharmacy a Level 4 felony. Aggravating circumstances such as using a deadly weapon or causing bodily harm would increase the charge to a Level 2 or Level 1 felony.

“Signing of this bill supports punitive measures against heroin dealers who are profiting from the death and misery suffered by heroin addicts and their families, attack this epidemic by interrupting the supply chain, and remove the preferential sentence leniency drug dealers have enjoyed from Indiana’s sentencing statutes. Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said.