Delivering on President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, Biden-Harris Administration continues aggressive actions to crack down on global illicit drug trade
Washington, D.C. – Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta released the following statement on new United States sanctions against 28 individuals and entities involved with the international proliferation of illicit drugs, including a China-based network and two companies and one individual in Canada, responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and MDMA precursors. Those designated today are also involved in the global trafficking of xylazine and “nitazenes,” which are highly potent non-fentanyl synthetic opioids, and often mixed with illicit fentanyl or other drugs.
“We are making clear: we will take aggressive action against every individual and organization that perpetuates the global illicit drug trade and the overdose epidemic,” said Dr. Gupta. “Today, we’re targeting members of a massive criminal network, based in China, to keep dangerous and deadly drugs from reaching our communities. These actions support our whole-of-government approach to disrupting the international drug trafficking enterprise. Under President Biden’s leadership, we will continue to crack down on traffickers and their enablers.”
Today’s action follows the announcement just last week that the United States has imposed sanctions against ten individuals through President Biden’s Executive Order on Imposing Sanctions on Foreign Persons Involved in the Global Illicit Drug Trade, including nine Sinaloa Cartel members in Mexico, and the leader of the Colombian Clan del Golfo Jobanis de Jesus Avila Villadiego.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with international partners to disrupt the global fentanyl supply chain, and prioritizing the use of sanctions to hold drug traffickers and their facilitators accountable. As a result of today’s action, all property and interests 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. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
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.
The Administration’s decisive actions to crack down on drug trafficking also include:
- Announcing a strategic approach of Commercially Disrupting the global illicit fentanyl supply chain. The Biden-Harris Administration announced a strengthened whole-of-government approach to save lives by disrupting the trafficking of illicit fentanyl and its precursors into American communities. This approach builds on the President’s National Drug Control Strategy and helps deliver on his State of the Union call to beat the opioid and overdose epidemic by cracking down on the production, sale, and trafficking of illicit fentanyl to help save lives, protect the public health, and improve the public safety of our communities.
- Launching the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats. 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.
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:
- Strengthening recovery support services and targeting illicit drug trafficking operations. The Biden-Harris Administration announced more than $450 million to strengthen prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services and crack down on illicit drug trafficking as part of International Overdose Awareness Day.
- Expanding access to life-saving overdose reversal medication. Just recently, the FDA 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.