As part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda efforts to beat the overdose epidemic, Biden-Harris Administration has now announced more than 170 sanctions against drug traffickers

Washington, D.C. – Today, in support of President Biden’s Unity Agenda effort to beat the overdose epidemic, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta released the following statement on new United States sanctions against three Sinaloa cartel fentanyl suppliers in cooperation with Mexico:

“As part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda, we have now sanctioned more than 170 drug traffickers,” said Dr. Gupta. “A key driver of the overdose epidemic is drug traffickers and their profits. President Biden has made clear: we will crack down on the illicit drug supply chain at every choke point and make drug trafficking more costly at every step of the way. These sanctions are coordinated closely with the Government of Mexico and will help strengthen our critical efforts to disrupt global drug trafficking, a key part of our strategy to beat the overdose epidemic and save lives. We will continue to work across all of government to hold drug traffickers accountable for killing Americans.”

The sanctions announced today, made possible by President Biden’s Executive Order on Imposing Sanctions on Foreign Persons Involved in the Global Illicit Drug Trade, strengthen U.S. efforts to degrade the capabilities of drug trafficking organizations and disrupt the supply of illicit drugs like fentanyl entering our country. As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. U.S. persons may face civil or criminal penalties for violations of E.O. 14059.

During his first State of the Union address, President Biden announced beating the overdose epidemic as one of the four pillars of his Unity Agenda, focused on issues where members of both parties can come together and make progress for the American people. Over the past two years, the Biden-Harris Administration has made addressing global illicit drug trafficking and cracking down on transnational organized crime a key priority in the efforts to beat the overdose epidemic.

With today’s sanctions, the Biden-Harris Administration has now designated more than 170 individuals and entities for their role in the illicit drug trade, including trafficking fentanyl and precursor chemicals. 76 percent of these sanctions are against the members of the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel – the primary suppliers of illicit fentanyl into the United States – and their global network of facilitators, primarily based in the PRC. So far into 2023, sanctions imposed have increased 119 percent over last year’s total. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue its aggressive efforts to sanction those involved in global drug trafficking operations.

The Administration’s decisive actions to crack down on drug trafficking also include:

  • Launching the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats. Last month, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats that will help accelerate efforts against illicit synthetic drugs and employ coordinated approaches to prevent illicit drug manufacturing, detect emerging drug threats, disrupt trafficking, address illicit finance, and respond to public safety and public health impacts. The Administration brought together more than 80 countries and 11 international organizations to take action knowing that countering illicit synthetic drugs must be a global policy priority.
  • Expanding our High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program. The HIDTA program devotes more than $275 million to supporting federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement working to stop traffickers across all 50 states. Earlier this summer, the White House announced the designation of nine new counties to the HIDTA Program. The addition of these nine counties to the HIDTA program will allow additional resources to be deployed to areas hardest hit by drug trafficking and overdoses.
  • Regulating “precursor” chemicals used to produce illicit fentanyl. At the request of the United States, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) voted to control three chemicals used by drug traffickers to produce illicit fentanyl.
  • Convening the Third Meeting of the India-U.S. Counternarcotics Working Group. The Narcotics Control Bureau, India (NCB) hosted the third meeting of the India-U.S. Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG) in New Delhi where India and the United States signed an Amended Letter of Agreement (ALOA) in the field of narcotics control and law enforcement cooperation between both countries.

The Administration has also made historic investments in critical public health interventions including research, prevention, treatment, and recovery support services to help save lives and end the overdose epidemic. Recent actions include:

  • Expanding access to life-saving overdose reversal medication. Just last month, theFDA approved another over-the-counter overdose reversal product. The FDA approved the first over-the-counter naloxone nasal spray earlier this spring. This additional approval means more options for consumers and more competition in the market, which will help increase access to this life-saving medication. It also marks the first time a non-profit company has received approval for an overdose reversal product.
  • Releasing a national response plan to combat fentanyl combined with xylazine. The White House released a National Response Plan to coordinate a whole-of-government response to fight the dangerous and deadly combination of xylazine mixed with fentanyl. Earlier this spring, Dr. Gupta used an executive designation authority for the first time in U.S. history to designate fentanyl combined with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States and proactively address this dangerous threat head-on. 
  • Coordinating a North American public health response. Ministers and Secretaries of Health and Senior Officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States gathered at the White House for the North American Drug Dialogue (NADD) Public Health Summit to coordinate a trilateral approach to the negative health impact of illicit synthetic drugs use throughout North America.

To support the Administration’s efforts to save lives and disrupt drug trafficking, President Biden has requested a historic $46.1 billion from Congress for national drug control programs. This represents a $5.0 billion increase from the FY2022 request and a $2.3 billion increase over the FY2023 enacted level. The FY2024 budget also includes an increase in funding for efforts to reduce the supply of illicit drugs and combat drug trafficking. It also includes an increase in funding to support the expansion of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services. Taken together, these efforts will strengthen public health and public safety. Read more HERE.

To read President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, click HERE.


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