81.8 F
86.1 F
Muscle Shoals
79.3 F
81.6 F
Fort Payne

State Rep. Reynolds: State wiretapping capability will be a ‘highly effective tool’ to combat drug trafficking

The Alabama Legislature earlier this week passed the “Billy Clardy III Act,” which grants wiretapping authority to state and local law enforcement agents specifically for crimes related to drug trafficking.

The bill was inspired by the killing of fallen 48-year-old Huntsville Police Department agent Billy Clardy III, who was killed in the line of duty in December 2019.

Clardy was participating in an undercover narcotics operation with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Gulf Coast Task Force when the suspect opened fire as agents attempted to take him into custody. Clardy was struck in an area not protected by his bulletproof vest.

Presently, the only avenue for state and local law enforcement to gain wiretapping capabilities is through federal approval. House Bill 17 allows local agents to coordinate with the Alabama Bureau of Investigations (ABI), the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and the attorney general’s office prior to bringing a wiretap affidavit to the local judge of jurisdiction.

According to bill sponsor State Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville), providing state law enforcement with wiretapping authority to combat drug trafficking could prevent killings such as Clardy’s.

“The ability for law enforcement to have access to electronic wiretapping provides a highly effective tool in investigating and dismantling drug traffickers operating in Alabama,” Reynolds said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “We have to arm our law enforcement with every tool possible to combat the trafficking of narcotics into our state.”

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe to our email newsletter to have all our smart stories delivered to your inbox.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular