TOPEKA – (April 2, 2013) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today issued the following statement on Senate passage of Senate Bill 16, the anti-racketeering bill:
“After years of work and consideration, the 2013 Legislature has taken a major step to help remove drug dealers, gang leaders and criminals who traffic in human beings from our streets. Today’s passage of a state-level anti-racketeering law will give Kansas law enforcement and prosecutors a critical tool that our federal partners long have used to convict the senior leaders of criminal organizations. Kansas will be safer because of this enactment, and I commend the Legislature for approving it.”
Today’s 38-2 Senate action will send the bill to the Governor for his consideration. Senate Bill 16 was recommended by the Attorney General’s Gang Free Kansas Advisory Group and was one of the top priorities AG Schmidt recommended to the Legislature when the 2013 legislative session began in January. The anti-racketeering bill is based on the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and it allows prosecutors to charge criminal leaders who engage in a pattern of criminal activity with a greater crime than any one criminal act would allow. The bill provides for prison terms ranging from nine to 41 years, depending on the criminal history of the defendant.