Capito, Klobuchar Urge Administration to Increase Cyber Investigations of Fentanyl Trafficking

Government and Politics

November 30, 2022

Capito, Klobuchar Urge Administration to Increase Cyber Investigations of Fentanyl Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) urged the Biden administration to increase cyber investigations of fentanyl trafficking. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the senators highlighted how dark web opioid traffickers can exploit the anonymity and reach of the Internet to make illegal drugs available to American customers. 

“We write to urge the administration to prioritize cyber investigations into fentanyl trafficking and to inquire about steps that the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are taking to stop fentanyl from being trafficked into the United States through the use of the dark web,” the senators wrote. “Too often, these drug overdoses are the result of drugs purchased illegally on the dark web. Because of the anonymity that the dark web provides, sellers are able to make illicit drugs available to tens of thousands of customers.”

“It is critical that the administration prioritize these investigations to help make sure that fentanyl does not continue to devastate communities across the country,” the senators continued.

Senator Capito has led a number of efforts to strengthen West Virginia’s fight against the opioid epidemic. Specifically, Senator Capito co-sponsored the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP Act), enacted in 2018 to decrease the supply of fentanyl shipments to the United States. Senator Capito also recently announced funding through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) requests for addiction prevention and recovery initiatives in Martinsburg and Charleston, and applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) announcement to change existing privacy regulations surrounding medical records for those suffering with substance use disorder.

Full text of the letter is available here.