The bipartisan Senate criminal justice reform bill includes a provision lowering the mandatory minimum punishment for smuggling drugs in submarines.
The bill, S.R 2123, has received support from President Obama and Charles and David Koch, and has co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle.
The bill lowers the minimum sentencing requirement from 10 years to five years for those convicted under sections “401 or 406 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841 and 846) or section 1010 or 1013 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960 and 963).”
These laws deal with the imports and exports of mass quantities of drugs. One of these laws specifically talks about the importation of more than 5 kilograms of cocaine aboard a vessel.
In March, U.S Customs stopped a “narco sub” carrying 12,800 pounds of cocaine worth nearly $200 million.
“Inexplicably, the bill now adds leniency for those who smuggle drugs into the United States by boats and submarines,” a coalition of attorneys and law enforcement officials wrote in a letter earlier this month. “Drug smugglers using vessels in international waters are routinely very serious traffickers moving substantial amounts of drugs.”