July 5, 2017

New mandatory minimum sentence would target tricks of drug trafficking trade

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Katie Lannan / State House News Service

Fentanyl and guns seized in a sweep of an alleged drug trafficking operation based in Lawrence.

BOSTON — Crafting hidden compartments in cars, boats or airplanes to conceal guns, drugs or drug money would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of two years, under a bill that has received initial approval in the Massachusetts House.

The bill filed by Rep. Stephan Hay, a Fitchburg Democrat, is an attempt to crack down on a logistical tactic used to traffic drugs.

While progressive lawmakers hope to build support for repealing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes this session, state officials are also trying to crack down on the trafficking of fentanyl and other deadly opioids.

State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said the compartments are known as “hides” and for many years they have been “extremely common among drug traffickers.”

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