Gangs playing major role in prescription drug and pain killer black market
Albany – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) is announcing that the State Senate has approved legislation he sponsored, S4444A, by a vote of 50-9, that would enact the New York State Criminal Street Gang Act.
The legislation, championed by the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, would provide a comprehensive approach to protecting the public from gang-related crimes and violence, including those that relate to drug trafficking. According to the U.S. Justice Department, street gangs are among the primary distributors of illegal drugs on the streets. There are presently more than one hundred known gangs in New York City.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “As a former New York City Police Officer, I know that gangs on our streets destroy communities, schools, and families. In the wake of the heroin and prescription drug crisis that is taking too many young lives, this is definitely the time to create stricter penalties and education programs to reduce gang violence. We must not only work to prevent the formation of gangs, but we should penalize, track and educate their members, so that the dangers they cause on our streets can end.”
The comprehensive legislation also establishes new and enhanced penalties for participation in a criminal street gang, as well as for gang activity involvement, and solicitation of gang participation. Different penalties apply for gang recruitment of minors on school grounds. The bill would also require the monies from property seized to be placed in a new gang prevention education fund which would provide grants to schools for curriculum and gang prevention partnership programs.
“The message we have sent today to the youth across the Empire State is that nothing good comes from participation in a criminal street gang. This legislation, if approved by the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will help us to curb gang violence, and reduce the presence of prescription drugs illegally changing hands in cities, towns and villages throughout New York State,” concluded Senator Golden.
The bill was sent to the Assembly. Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) is the Assembly sponsor.