It seems the Trump administration wasn’t kidding around when they hinted at a crackdown on cannabis-related crimes.
A 56-year-old Texas man has joined the ‘marijuana lifer’ club after being sentenced to 24 years in federal prison for selling cannabis.
David Lopez was convicted on drug conspiracy and possession charges, with federal prosecutors claiming he had been shipping cannabis from El Paso to U.S. cities from 2001 through August 2015. He was tied to busts in Texas, New Mexico and Kansas, where police seized more than 3,300 kilos of cannabis. Lopez, who owned numerous trucking companies, was caught after attempting to hire a DEA informant and an undercover officer to transport cannabis for him.
Lopez’s sentence sends “a strong and unified message that drug dealing, at all levels, will not be tolerated, and, in turn, we are making our communities safer”, said Will Glaspy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s El Paso Division.
Lopez was not linked to any acts of violence. His massive sentence was the result of a renewed commitment to federal rules requiring mandatory-minimums for drug conspiracy charges, along with the fact that prosecutors sought additional time because of Lopez’s 1995 conviction of felony marijuana possession.
The case began under the Obama administration, which had committed itself to reducing sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Now, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the helm, the Department of Justice is bringing back mandatory minimums with a vengeance.
“We’re not about filling prisons,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claimed to the Associated Press on Friday. “The mission is to reduce violent crime and drug abuse, and this helps us do that.”
If Lopez serves his entire sentence in 293 months in prison, he will be released at the age of 78.
h/t VICE News