WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Tim Burchett (TN-02), Tom Tiffany (WI-07), and Michael Guest (MS-03) introduced the Fentanyl Trafficker Elimination Act, a bill that holds fentanyl smugglers accountable for their role in the United States’ opioid epidemic.
“As an EMT and former federal drug prosecutor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the lethal effects of opioids, particularly fentanyl. Devastatingly, fentanyl has made its way into communities across America, and there is no end in sight. As part of our broader approach to tackling the addiction and overdose epidemic, we must address the dramatic rise in fentanyl and fentanyl-laced pill seizures at our ports of entry,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “The deadly wave of fentanyl overdoses our country is experiencing has continued to soar. It’s time to put an end to these senseless deaths by sending a clear message to traffickers: you will be apprehended, brought to justice, and held accountable for smuggling illicit fentanyl into the United States.”
“Smugglers aren’t deterred by the existing penalties for trafficking fentanyl into the United States,” Rep. Burchett said. “You better be ready to spend the rest of your life in prison if you willingly bring illegal fentanyl across any of our borders. No longer can we shrug off this criminal activity that is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of Americans.”
“After one year of chaos, the Biden administration refuses to implement policies to control the border crisis. I cosponsored the Fentanyl Trafficker Elimination Act to increase the penalties for drug smuggling and put an end to Biden’s lawlessness at our southern border,” Rep. Tiffany said.
“It’s time we take a hard stance against the smuggling of this deadly drug. With this legislation, we’re letting drug smugglers know that if they choose to bring fentanyl into American states, communities, and homes, the price they’ll pay will be severe,” Rep. Guest said.
The Fentanyl Trafficker Elimination Act would increase criminal penalties for trafficking illegal fentanyl in the United States. Under this legislation, anyone convicted of intentionally trafficking fentanyl or fentanyl analogues would be sentenced to life in prison.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States experienced an estimated 101,263 drug overdose deaths between June 2020 and June 2021, the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period. The CDC also reported that fentanyl and fentanyl analogues are responsible for a majority of drug overdose deaths. Additionally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than 11,000 pounds of illegal fentanyl along the southern border in fiscal year 2021, a 42 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
The full text of the Fentanyl Trafficker Elimination Act is available here.