Interagency effort needed to combat illicit fentanyl

Last month officials from multiple government agencies met with the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

Among those speaking were Matthew Allen, Assistant Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations. Allen spoke about the dangers of fentanyl and of ICE’s efforts to reduce the supply of heroin and fentanyl in the U.S.

The Heroin Availability Reduction Plan (HARP), developed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in coordination with federal departments and agencies, reduces the supply of heroin and illicit fentanyl in the U.S. through various means, including supply chain disruption. According to Allen, ICE is targeting supply chain networks and collaborating with both domestic and international partners.

ICE is also part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s interagency Heroin and Fentanyl task force, which focuses on the collaborative authorities and efforts of each invested agency’s resources, in order to better share and deconflict information. ICE and the task force are coordinating in several areas related to the combating fentanyl.

In his closing statement, Allen said that “ICE is committed to battling the U.S. heroin and illicit fentanyl crisis through the various efforts I have discussed today,” and that “this problem set is an epidemic that demands urgent and immediate action across law enforcement interagency lines.”

For more information about this issue, please follow the links below.
Fentanyl: The Next Wave of the Opioid Crisis, The Energy and Commerce Committee, House of Representatives
Written testimony of ICE Homeland Security Investigations Assistant Director for Investigations Matt Allen for a House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing titled “Fentanyl: The Next Wave of the Opioid Crisis”
, Department of Homeland Security

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