McCaskill, Johnson Target Opioid Smuggling

Senators: ‘Customs and Border Protection is the first line of defense for detecting and seizing illicit opioids before they can make it to American communities’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Claire McCaskill and Chairman Ron Johnson are seeking details on what Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is doing to stop illegal opioids from being smuggled into the country at the borders.

“CBP is the first line of defense for detecting and seizing [illicit opioids] before they can make it to American communities,” the Senators wrote in their bipartisan letter to CBP Acting Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. “Every day, CBP faces smugglers who find new and covert methods for getting these drugs across our borders and into the hands of Americans...We write to request information about [CBP’s] work to identify and prevent illicit opioids from entering the country.”

The Senators are seeking information on the amount and types of opioids that have been seized by CBP over the last five years, what CBP is doing to detect and intercept opioid shipments, and what Congress can do to assist CBP in its efforts. Deadly opioids like fentanyl often enter the United States  in mail shipments or through ports of entry. Both CBP and the United States Postal Service have focused on strengthening their ability to detect illegal opioid shipments, including through new technology.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over border protection and enforcement.

Read the Senators’ letter to CBP HERE.

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