Sen. Ossoff-Backed Bipartisan Bill to Crack Down on Fentanyl Traffickers Becomes Law

Washington, D.C. — A bipartisan bill backed by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff to crack down on fentanyl traffickers is now law.

Earlier this year, Sen. Ossoff co-sponsored the bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, which will sanction drug cartels and combat money laundering by the criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking. The bill became law last month as part of the bipartisan national security package.

The bipartisan law will expand sanctions to illicit fentanyl traffickers in Mexico and the creators of precursor chemicals in China.

“Fentanyl is one of the most deadly and addictive substances ever made by man, and we’re seeing an alarming increase in the frequency of overdose deaths among children and teenagers in particular. A group of us from both parties worked together and now passed into law this bill to crack down on transnational drug cartels who are bringing fentanyl into the United States and strengthen enforcement against large scale fentanyl trafficking,” said Sen. Ossoff.

Last November, according to a report from WSB-TV, three high school students in Gwinnett County overdosed after being exposed to fentanyl, including one student who used a vape pen allegedly laced with fentanyl. Earlier last year, a middle school student in Lee County in Southwest Georgia was also hospitalized after using a vape pen allegedly laced with fentanyl. According to the reports, all of the students luckily survived. 

Following these reports, Sen. Ossoff raised with FBI Director Christopher Wray in a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing the impacts of fentanyl trafficking on Georgia students and families. 

The Bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act will:  

  • 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. 

Sen. Ossoff continues working to crack down on fentanyl trafficking and protect Georgia families. 

In March, Sen. Ossoff introduced the Deploy Fentanyl Scanners Act of 2024 to help deploy scanners at ports of entry to better identify contraband, including fentanyl, being smuggled across the border through personal vehicles.

In October, Sen. Ossoff delivered $7 million to the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) to strengthen Georgia’s response to the opioid epidemic and save lives. 

Last July, Sen. Ossoff introduced the Fentanyl Trafficking Prevention Act to crack down on fentanyl trafficking by holding social media companies accountable for failing to prevent the sale of dangerous drugs on their platforms, including synthetic opioids like fentanyl. 

In 2022, Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan Rural Opioid Abuse Prevention Act with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was signed into law to help rural communities experiencing a high level of opioid overdoses respond to the crisis. 

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