Source: TapInto.Net Phillipsburg
Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) is seeking to stop deadly drugs from coming into America by authoring the Homeland Security Fentanyl Enforcement Act (HR 9093) that would expand the Department of Homeland Security authority to help combat the deadly synthetic opioid.
Smith says the new legislation comes as US drug enforcement officials discover an emerging trend across the country in the trafficking of brightly-colored fentanyl, known as “rainbow fentanyl,” used to target young people.
“The deliberate targeting of children by drug cartels with deadly fentanyl made to look like candy is just the latest horrific aspect of the fentanyl crisis that has wreaked havoc on our communities,” said Smith.
The congressman says that 107,622 Americans lost their lives last year alone from a drug poisoning or overdose, with 66 percent of those deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
“Now more than ever, we must renew and strengthen our fight against the scourge of opioids that has claimed far too many lives and devastated so many families,” said Smith. “The nefarious drug networks pushing this Chinese-made synthetic opioid—which is 50 times more potent than heroin—on our kids in our own backyard must be defeated.”
The proposed federal law, which Smith says he developed alongside frontline DHS law enforcement officers, would grant agents within the DHS Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit with independent authority to enforce America’s drug laws.
While Homeland Security Investigations is the primary federal agency tasked with investigating transnational crime, agents are limited under current statue by a reliance on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to investigate drug-related crimes.
According to Smith, only approximately 1,500 of more than 6,800 HSI special agents have been granted authority by the DEA to investigate these crimes, leaving thousands of HSI agents on the sidelines as fentanyl and other deadly drugs pour into the country.
Since May, US law enforcement officials have seized more than 10.2 million fentanyl pills and approximately 980 pounds of fentanyl powder, equating to more than 36 million lethal doses.