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Hickenlooper Celebrates Bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act Passing Senate

Feb 20, 2024

Bill would crack down on illicit fentanyl trafficking, target criminal financing

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper-supported and  bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act passed the Senate last week as part of the national security supplemental. The legislation targets the entire illicit fentanyl supply chain, from the chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that transport the drugs in Mexico, by directing the Treasury Department to target, sanction, and block the financial assets of transnational criminal organizations.

“Fentanyl is ravaging our communities,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “This bill will cut the flow of fentanyl and go after the criminals financing this devastating crisis.”

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Declare that the international trafficking of fentanyl is a national emergency.
  • Require the President to sanction transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels’ key members engaged in international fentanyl trafficking.
  • Enable the President to use proceeds of forfeited, sanctioned property of fentanyl traffickers to further law enforcement efforts.
  • Enhance the ability to enforce sanctions violations thereby making it more likely that people who defy U.S. law will be caught and prosecuted.
  • Require the administration to report to Congress on actions the U.S. government is taking to reduce the international trafficking of fentanyl and related opioids.
  • Allow the Treasury Department to utilize special measures to combat fentanyl-related money laundering.
  • Require the Treasury Department to prioritize fentanyl-related suspicious transactions and include descriptions of drug cartels’ financing actions in Suspicious Activity Reports.

In 2021, nearly 107,000 Americans died from an overdose, and 65 percent of overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl. The bill also ensures that sanctions are imposed not only on the illicit drug trade, but also on the money laundering that makes it profitable.

Full text of the legislation is available HERE.


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