President Obama signed into law a measure that doubles sentences for pharmacy robberies, to 20 years, the Daily News reports.
The new law targets the theft, transport and sale of medical products, and holds violators responsible for deaths caused by stolen drugs.
There was an 82 percent increase in pharmacy robberies from 2006 to 2011, from 385 to 701. During that time, 3,535 pharmacies were robbed.
The SAFE DOSES Act, co-sponsored by New York Senator Charles Schumer, gives law enforcement wiretaps access to combat drug rings, the article notes.
“The SAFE DOSES Act will help cops put a lid on the prescription drug epidemic that is spilling across New York State and the entire country, and will also ensure that powerful prescriptions, like OxyContin and hydrocodone, make it from the factory to the patient, and nowhere else,” Schumer said in a news release. “Pharmacy robberies have put our communities in danger and have turned deadly in the last year – and today the federal government can respond by providing our heroes in blue the tools to fight back.”
According to the news release, cities and states often lack the resources to dismantle drug rings operating across state lines. The new law “will increase the federals authorities’ ability to crack down on interstate drug rings by combating theft along every point of the supply chain, from the warehouse to the delivery truck to the pharmacy.”