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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown's FEND Off Fentanyl bill wins law enforcement support nationwide, Brown a Cleveland Democrat and seasoned member of Congress....Some 109,680 people died in 2022 alone from the fentanyl crisis in the U.S.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (pictured), a Cleveland Democrat and seasoned member of Congress, (D-OH) led the introduction to his Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, a sanctions and anti-money laundering bill designed to help combat the country’s fentanyl crisis by targeting opioid traffickers devastating Ohio and other communities.

If the proposed legislation passes Congress it would enhance current law so that U.S. government agencies can more effectively disrupt illicit opioid supply chains and penalize those facilitating the trafficking of fentanyl. Some 109,680 people died in 2022 alone from the fentanyl crisis in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the epidemic continues to deepen.

The bill also ensures that sanctions are imposed not only on the illicit drug trade, but also on the money laundering that makes it profitable. Brown, who chairs the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, introduced the legislation with the committee’s ranking member, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and the leaders of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS). The bill now has over 40 cosponsors in the Senate.

In addition to cost issues, critics of the bill say it heightens criminal penalties and that increasing criminal penalties does not necessarily decrease crime. But supporters of the initiative say it has merit, particularly law enforcement types.

Read what law enforcement officials in support of the bill are saying about U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act:

Sheriff Dallas Baldwin, Franklin County:

  • “The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office continues to be committed to fighting the opioid epidemic that is devastating our country, virtually leaving no community untouched. I fully support all federal actions and sanctions to disrupt the flow of international trafficking of fentanyl from China through Mexico and the money laundering that the drug cartels are greatly profiting from. The FEND Act targets these dangerous drugs at the source, thus saving lives in Ohio.”

Chief Deputy Rick Minerd, Franklin County:

  • “Cartels in Mexico and transnational criminal organizations in China alike are capitalizing on the deep roots of addiction among Americans across the country. Their thirst for money comes at the expense of real lives. Law enforcement agencies are on the front lines of intercepting the supply of fentanyl and other deadly drugs before they seep into our communities, while clinicians work tirelessly to curb the demand from those suffering with substance abuse disorders. I applaud Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and his bipartisan colleagues who stand in support, with legislation such as the FEND and POWER Acts to monetarily sanction these criminal organizations, while also providing much needed tools to law enforcement for early detection.”

Police Chief Scott Comstock, Zanesville:

  • “The Zanesville Police Department is committed to fighting the opioid epidemic and recognizes the negative impacts fentanyl has had on communities. We support any measures that can be taken to limit the suppliers and any sanctions that can be imposed on the proceeds of these illegal gains that are being made at the expense of our citizens.”

Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police:

  • “Administrator Anne Milgram at the DEA has described fentanyl as ‘the single deadliest drug threat’ our country has ever faced, and she is right. We need to do more as a nation to interdict the flow of this drug and its precursors into our country and severely sanction individuals and organizations involved in making and distributing this poison. Senators Tim Scott and Sherrod Brown have developed a comprehensive approach that codifies an existing Executive Order giving the President broad authority to attack fentanyl trafficking by using all the resources of the United States. We strongly support this effort and look forward to working with them and with Senators Wicker and Reed to pass this important legislation.”

Sheriff Jim Skinner, Collin County, TX (National Sheriffs’ Association):

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