Fines for Montana Human Traffickers Increased to $400,000
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) -Senate Bill 265, which will drastically increase the fines on criminals convicted of human trafficking, had its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The bill, sponsored by Senator Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, would fine convicted human traffickers $400,000 for their crimes.
“We need to deter people from around the country, but specifically in Montana,” Noland said. “The best way we deter them, in my humble opinion, is through financing. Anything to do with human trafficking, whether it be the sex trades or whatever they’re doing, if they come to Montana and we can deter them from trafficking in our state, that is why I want to put a bigger price tag. So, I changed the bills where it says there is a $50,000 penalty if you are caught and I put it at $400,000 hoping to deter these folks.”
Noland explained how he came up with the $400,000 total.
“I looked at some other code and other things people have done,” Noland said. “I was thinking of going higher and then I realized it does need to be somewhat realistic. The original bill from the Attorney General’s Office talks about their homes. If they were involved in housing somebody in their home, they could lose that too. My bill just specifically talks about money. I thought about doing $5 million, but that is not realistic. A lot of folks don’t have $5 million, but what is a realistic number that could still affect the pocket book and maybe deter people? That is where I came up with $400,000.”
According to Nolan, the response to the bill has been all positive and most people agree that the fine needs to be high. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-0 in favor of SB 265. Th read the full bill, click here.