The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute

The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute

Criminal Law Newsletter December 2017

The following is a compendium of news reports over the past month that may be of interest to our AG offices who are involved with criminal law issues. Neither the National Association of Attorneys General nor the National Association of Attorneys General Training & Research Institute expresses a view as to the accuracy of news accounts, nor as to the positions expounded by the authors of the hyperlinked articles. 


Attorney General Sessions and Acting DEA Adminstrator Patterson have announced new tools to address the opioid crisis. Included are $12 million in grant funding to assist law enforcement in combating illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription opioids, establishing a new DEA Field Division in Louisville, KY, which will include Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, and a directive that all U.S. Attorneys designate an Opioid Coordinator in an attempt to optimize federal opioid prosecutions in each district.

Corey Ellis has been selected by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability. The Director will coordinate the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program, including reviewing complaints and ensuring compliance with the law. He will be working on a number of initiatives, including modernization of the National Asset Forfeiture Strategic Plan, updating asset forfeiture policy guidance, and improving controls over the use of forfeited assets.


The House of Representatives has passed legislation allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. H.R.38 amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. The bill also provides that a qualified individual is not subject to the federal prohibition on possession a firearm in a school zone and may carry or possess a handgun on federally owned lands that are open to the public. The bill is now pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

New Jersey is looking to make ‘drunken-droning’ a crime. The New Jersey Senate passed legislation that would bar people from operating drones while drunk. The offense would carry a sentence of up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. It has not yet been voted on by the Assembly.

Mark Neil is the Editor of Criminal Law Newsletter and may be reached at 202-326-6019. The Criminal Law Newsletter is a publication of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Any use and/or copies of this newsletter in whole or in part must include the customary bibliographic citation. NAAG retains copyright and all other intellectual property rights in the material presented in this publication. For content submissions or to contact the editor directly, please e-mail

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