YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced bipartisan legislation that is aimed to fight against the fentanyl supply chain.
The Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act is a sanctions and anti-money laundering bill.
It targets the fentanyl supply chain, from the chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that transport the drugs in Mexico.
“The largest police union in the country said to me, ‘We declare war on these drug cartels, on these criminal syndicates, in Mexico and in China.’ The supply is coming from China to these drug lords, these criminal enterprises in Mexico and we’ve gotta go after them,” Brown said.
If passed, 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.
The bill will enhance current law so U.S. government agencies can more effectively disrupt illicit opioid supply chains and penalize those facilitating the trafficking of 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.
The bill was introduced by Brown and Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC) and co-sponsored by the leaders of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS).