As a former federal prosecutor and New Mexico Attorney General, I've seen the impact of crime in our communities first hand. Keeping our streets safe requires coordination between all levels of government. In my role as U.S. senator, I am committed to rooting out problems in the justice system overall while providing law enforcement with the tools they need to get the job done on the ground.
Getting Drugs Off Our Streets
I know the toll that drug abuse can take on our communities. I also know that the input and involvement of community members and organizations can be crucial in addressing this problem. More than many other states, New Mexico faces a myriad of problems associated with drug smuggling. The Mexico-New Mexico international border is approximately 180 miles of open, uninhabited desert, leaving numerous points of entry difficult to navigate. Heroin and other drugs have steadily become more available, as made evident by the increase in seizures and the decrease in illegal drug prices. As a member of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, I am pressing for international cooperation to stem the flow of drugs into the United States.
In 2011, I began working to pass the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act of 2012. In 2013, our goal of seeing it signed into law was achieved. Katie's Law will expand DNA collection efforts from serious criminal offenders in order to save lives, solve crimes and prevent future tragedies from occurring at the hands of repeat offenders. The bill was named for a New Mexico State University graduate student who was murdered in 2003. Her killer was not found for several years, due to a lack of DNA collection following a previous arrest for unrelated crimes.