Biden-Harris Administration has invested significant funding for law enforcement to address drug trafficking and enabled historic seizures of illicit fentanyl on the border

Tucson, AZ – Last week, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta traveled to Arizona to highlight the importance of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to disrupt the global trafficking of illicit fentanyl, including along the southwest border. As part of President Biden’s Invest in America agenda, the Administration is delivering significant amounts of funding for law enforcement efforts to address illicit fentanyl trafficking, deploy the latest drug detection technology, and enable historic seizures of illicit fentanyl on the border.

“We are using every lever we have to stop drug production and trafficking at every choke point and save lives. Thanks to President Biden’s Invest in America agenda, we are cracking down on trafficking at the border more than ever before,” said Dr. Gupta. “I saw firsthand the new fentanyl detection technology going into place, which is delivering on the President’s call to action. I met with federal officials working to protect our border. And I spoke with local law enforcement and elected officials who are dedicated to stopping these dangerous drugs from harming Americans. These partnerships are critical to protecting public health and safety and I look forward to continuing our work to stop dangerous drugs from reaching our country.”

On Wednesday, Dr. Gupta participated in a ride along with the Shadow Wolves who work to disrupt all forms of transnational organized crime affecting the Tohono O’odham Nation, including trafficking and smuggling of methamphetamine, fentanyl, humans, firearms, and cash. He visited the San Miguel border crossing to learn of the detail-oriented tracking work the Homeland Security Investigations Sells Shadow Wolves Public Safety Group performs on their unique terrain to combat smuggling and trafficking. Dr. Gupta also met with the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Native American Targeted Investigation of Violent Enterprises (NATIVE) task force and spent time with representatives from Tohono O’odham Healthcare to talk about substance use disorder in the community.

On Thursday, Dr. Gupta toured ports of entry at the Area Port of Nogales, Arizona, that have begun implementing President Biden’s State of the Union commitment to expand Non-Intrusive Inspection technology at the border. During his State of the Union address, President Biden called for accelerating the crackdown on illicit fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop drugs at the border. Thanks to his Invest in America agenda, communities are receiving investments to expedite modernization projects that will allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to more effectively deploy the latest technology to identify high risk activity and shipments, disrupt drug trafficking, and increase operational security. Seizures of illicit fentanyl are up nearly 400% this year in the Tucson Field Office compared to the same time last year. Dr. Gupta received a tour of the Nogales-Sonora storm drainage system and Border Patrol’s efforts to secure it from exploitation by drug traffickers.

President Biden has called for $535 million in CBP funding for border technology in his FY24 budget, including $305 million for Non-Intrusive Inspection Systems, with a primary focus on fentanyl detection at ports of entry. By providing 123 new large-scale scanners at Land Points of Entry along the Southwest Border by Fiscal Year 2026, CBP will increase its inspection capacity from what has historically been around two percent of passenger vehicles and about 17 percent of cargo vehicles to 40 percent of passenger vehicles and 70 percent of cargo vehicles. These investments will crack down on a major avenue of fentanyl trafficking, securing our border and keeping dangerous drugs from reaching our country.

The Biden-Harris Administration has made disrupting the illicit fentanyl supply chain a top priority. This Administration has invested significant amounts of funding for law enforcement efforts to address illicit fentanyl trafficking and enabled historic seizures of illicit fentanyl on the border. Under President Biden’s leadership, there are now a record number of personnel working to secure the border, and in just the last year Customs and Border Protection has seized a historic 260,000 pounds of illicit drugs primarily at ports of entry on our border, including nearly 15,000 pounds of fentanyl. These efforts are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to tackle the nation’s overdose epidemic. As a key part of the President’s Unity Agenda, the Administration has also made historic investments in critical public health interventions including research, prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.


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