Biden Treasury Unveils Effort To Crack Down On Illicit Funds From ‘Deadly Fentanyl’

The Treasury Department announced Monday it was forming a “strike force” to combat illicit funds from fentanyl trafficking.

Overdoses killed over 100,000 Americans in 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Counter-Fentanyl Strike Force will be co-chaired by Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson and Chief James Lee of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division, according to a press release.

Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen will travel to Mexico Tuesday for meetings with senior officials to address fentanyl, according to The New York Times.

“Combatting the flow of deadly fentanyl into communities across the United States is a top priority for President Biden as well as the Treasury Department,” Yellen said Monday. “The Treasury Department’s Counter-Fentanyl Strike Force will allow us to bring the Department’s unrivaled expertise in fighting financial crime to bear against this deadly epidemic. Treasury will use every tool at its disposal to disrupt the ability of drug traffickers to peddle this poison in our country.”

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has seized over 55 million fentanyl pills in 2023 alone, CBS News reported.

“To date, our team has played a key role in sanctioning and bringing criminal charges against individuals and entities involved in fentanyl trafficking, and we look forward to using our financial expertise to further disrupt the flow of fentanyl into the United States,” Lee said according to the Treasury Department release.

One kilogram of fentanyl can kill up to a half-million people, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Harold Hutchison on December 4, 2023

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