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Fentanyl FEND Off Act Signed

President Joe Biden has signed into law U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s bipartisan legislation to crack down on the deadly flow of fentanyl that is wreaking havoc on Montana communities. Tester’s Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act will impose economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, or other related opioids, and declare international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency.

“Fentanyl is a poison that is hurting Montana communities, and local law enforcement have made it clear to me that they need additional tools to get it off our streets,” Tester said. “That’s why I worked with Republicans and Democrats on this bipartisan law that will save lives by declaring the fentanyl crisis a national emergency and hitting China and the criminal organizations that traffic this filth directly in their wallets. I’ll continue to work with anyone on bipartisan solutions to strengthen border security and provide additional tools to the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line to keep Montana safe.”

Tester has led the charge to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl that is wreaking havoc on Montana and secure the southern border. Tester has fought for months to get his bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act across the finish line and successfully included the legislation as part of a targeted bipartisan national security package.

Tester’s Fend OFF Fentanyl Act will declare the fentanyl crisis a national emergency, which will allow law enforcement agencies to better coordinate resources to tackle the crisis. Specifically, the law will:

•Sanction transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels’ key members engaged in international fentanyl trafficking.

•Enable the use of proceeds from forfeited, sanctioned property of fentanyl traffickers to further law enforcement efforts.

•Enhance the ability to enforce sanctions violations thereby making it more likely that people who defy U.S. law will be caught and prosecuted.

•Require the administration to report to Congress on actions the U.S. government is taking to reduce the international trafficking of fentanyl and related opioids.

•Allow the Treasury Department to utilize special measures to combat fentanyl- related money laundering.

•Require the Treasury Department to prioritize fentanyl-related suspicious transactions and include descriptions of drug cartels’ financing actions in Suspicious Activity Reports.

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