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Article updated: 8/10/2012 7:11 AM

Quinn signs heroin crackdown into law

Dennis Reboletti

Dennis Reboletti

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SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday signed into law a plan intended to send more heroin dealers to prison.

The new law means automatic prison time for anyone convicted of possessing at least three grams of heroin. Previously, someone convicted of possessing up to five grams could get probation.

The law takes effect immediately.

State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican and sponsor of the plan, has said he's worked on the proposal for a while in an effort to combat the drug's prevalence in the suburbs.

"I have seen firsthand the toll heroin takes on young people here in the suburbs," Reboletti, a former prosecutor, said in a statement. "We are putting dealers of even small quantities on notice: you will go to prison."

The law Quinn signed Thursday also includes a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco wrapping papers, commonly known as "blunt wraps."

Opponents of the wraps say the fruity-flavored papers are alluring to children and often not used for tobacco.

"One overdose victim is one too many in Illinois," Quinn said in a statement. "These products are a public health menace and this new law will help keep people away from illegal substance abuse."

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