U.S. A.G. Jeff Sessions outlines future of law enforcement at conference in Gatlinburg

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on his immigration claims on Tuesday while speaking to hundreds of law enforcement officials at a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Of all the topics he touched on, local police say the two that interested them the most were his stances on the war on drugs and immigration.

"Right now we are dealing with a massive influx of illegal aliens across our Southwest Border," Attorney General Sessions says.

The two problems are often tied together. While people aren't illegally crossing the border into our region, the drugs that get smuggled into the country often end up in the Tri-Cities.

"These drugs are coming from Mexico and the southeastern states and those types of things are crossing the border and being brought into the Tri-Cities," Lieutenant Kevin Peters with the Johnson City Police Department says.

Attorney General Sessions says he wants to crack down on these smugglers and hit them with harsher punishments.

"If you cross the Southwest border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you," the Attorney General says. "It's that simple."

This is something Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford is already working towards.

"Last year we got 23 kg of that Mexican meth in a drug operation and one of the key players and that is probably going to end up with a life sentence as part of the investigation," Sheriff Lunceford says.

To end his speech, Attorney General Sessions promising each agency his full backing while laying out his long-term goals.

"These are our explicit goals for 2018: to bring down violent crime, homicides, opioid prescriptions, and overdose deaths," he says.

Another point of emphasis in the presentation: fentanyl. Attorney General Sessions says his agency has seized nearly 200 pounds of the drug in the last month.

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