Lawmakers table handful of crime bills at Roundhouse Tuesday

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SANTA FE, N.M. – From drug trafficking to gun violence, legislators were discussing how they can keep violent offenders behind bars Tuesday at the Roundhouse. 

Republican Rep. Bill Rehm had a handful of bills in committees, all discussing extending sentences for violent crimes or drug crimes — none of them passed.

The first bill would have added 12 other crimes to an existing law that says if you are convicted of three violent crimes you will serve life in prison. 

This law has been on the books for nearly 30 years but has never been used, Rehm says by expanding this law it will keep violent criminals behind bars.

“My criteria is if you have caused injury by great bodily harm or killed on three different occasions, you will get a life sentence, and that is purely the analysis of it,” said state Rep. William Bill Rehm. 

The next bill that was tabled in committee addressed fentanyl trafficking. It would have added mandatory sentencing – depending on how many fentanyl pills a suspect had on them while committing a crime ranging from three to seven years. 

While it didn’t pass, Rehm says the Roundhouse has to address fentanyl use somehow.

“We have a real choice, we either address the fentanyl dealer or get more body bags for the OMI,” said Rehm. 

The other two bills would have added mandatory sentencing for using a gun while drug trafficking and for felons in possession of guns. The arguments against these two bills were similar, saying adding more years to the sentence doesn’t address the crime itself.

All five bills Rehm introduced Tuesday were tabled.