Delivering on President Biden’s Unity Agenda, Biden-Harris Administration sanctions drug trafficking organizations responsible for fueling the overdose epidemic and drug-related violence

Washington, D.C. – Today, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta released the following statement on new sanctions issued by the Biden-Harris Administration. Under President Biden’s Executive Order on Imposing Sanctions on Foreign Persons Involved in the Global Illicit Drug Trade, and in close coordination with the Government of Mexico, the Administration sanctioned 15 Mexican individuals and two Mexican-based companies linked to the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), a drug trafficking organization involved in the distribution and sale of illicit fentanyl and other deadly drugs into the United States.

“Dismantling the drug trafficking networks that fuel violence is critical to the Biden-Harris Administration’s global efforts to save lives and commercially disrupt the trafficking of illicit fentanyl and its precursors into American communities,” said Dr. Gupta. “As part of President Biden’s Executive Order, we will continue to take decisive action to crack down on the production, sale, and trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States through global leadership and diplomacy with countries like Mexico.”

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 has brought together more than 130 countries 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 $302 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.

To advance President Biden’s Unity Agenda, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to address the overdose epidemic and save lives. President Biden is also calling on Congress for immediate action to help provide $1.55 billion to strengthen addiction treatment, overdose prevention measures, and recovery support services across the country, and more than $1.2 billion to crack down on drug trafficking to keep dangerous drugs like fentanyl out of our communities.

Read President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy HERE.


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