Monday, March 24, 2008

Gang and Drug Violence Targeted

Measures to combat gang violence and thwart drug dealers are just two facets of a new legislative strategy to fight crime in the Commonwealth.
The legislative package comes out of a series of public hearings the House Democratic Policy Committee held across the state on public health and violence prevention.
Democratic State Representative Eddie Pashinski of Luzerne County says his measure would prevent drug dealers from using prepaid cell phones to avoid prosecution.

"This legislation would require anyone purchasing a prepaid cell phone with cash would have to show proper id and fill out forms. The main tool that drug dealers use in continuing this perpetration of drugs throughout our communities is the prepaid cell phone. The reason for that - it's purchased with cash, and there is no trace back to the purchaser."

Mercer County Democratic Representative Mark Longietti's bill would make it a crime to belong to a gang, and allow authorities to seize the assets of convicted gang members.

"PA needs to join 17 other states that have enacted laws to suppress gang violence while taking away their power and by hitting them in the pocketbook, taking away their funding.

Longietti says the money would go to gang membership prevention and community programs.

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