Cracking Down on Methamphetamine Smuggling is Focus of McCaskill Request

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, requested information from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on its efforts to stop methamphetamine from flowing into the United States and what resources may be necessary for CBP to tackle this threat. McCaskill previously sought details on the interception of opioid shipments to the U.S., which resulted in two reports detailing dramatic increases in seizures of illicit fentanyl at ports of entry and within U.S. borders.

“Securing our border is a necessary piece of any strategy to keep Missourians safe,” McCaskill said. “I’ve worked with the Administration to crack down on shipments of illicit fentanyl before, and I’m going to take the same bipartisan approach to stop the flow of methamphetamine that’s harming Missouri communities.”

Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 30 percent increase in the number of Americans dying from a methamphetamine overdose. The Drug Enforcement Agency found that most methamphetamine consumed in the United States is produced in Mexico and smuggled across the Southern border. In addition, Mexican-produced methamphetamine is more potent and less expensive than domestically manufactured methamphetamine.

In a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, McCaskill wrote, “While the opioid crisis continues to plague American communities, recent reports suggest that across the country, and in in my home state of Missouri, the abuse of methamphetamine is on the rise. … Given the demands that the opioid epidemic continues to place on CBP personnel, I want to ensure that CBP has adequate resources to meet both the opioid epidemic and the growing threat of methamphetamine.”

As the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, McCaskill has made tackling the smuggling of illegal drugs a top priority. Last month, the Senate passed a bill that included a McCaskill-backed provision to crack down on the illegal shipment of fentanyl into the country. Earlier this year, President Trump signed into law a McCaskill-backed bill that arms CBP with additional chemical screening devices to help detect illegal opioids. Last year, McCaskill’s bill to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security’s program that targets transnational criminal organizations on the border and at U.S. ports in order to combat drug and weapons trafficking and other crimes was approved by the Committee. She also toured the U.S.-Mexico border to learn more about what CBP needs to increase border security.

Read McCaskill’s letter to CBP HERE.