National Fraternal Order of Police Backs Spanberger’s Bipartisan Bill to Target Online Sales of Illicit Drugs Laced with Fentanyl

The Congresswoman’s Legislation Would Investigate, Help Disrupt Online Fentanyl Sales, & Analyze the Best Methods for Law Enforcement Officers to Crack Down on Traffickers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following last month’s introduction of U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s bipartisan bill to help address the online sale of counterfeit pills and illicit drugs laced with fentanyl, the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has now backed her legislation.

Spanberger’s Targeting Online Sales of Fentanyl Act — which she introduced alongside U.S. Representatives Wesley Hunt (R-TX-38), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) — has also been endorsed by the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, and National Association of Police Organizations. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the methods used to enable the online sale of fentanyl and assess efforts by federal law enforcement and online providers to combat the practice. The bill is companion legislation to a U.S. Senate bill led by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

In a letter to Spanberger and Hunt, FOP President Patrick Yoes stated the organization’s support of the Targeting Online Sales of Fentanyl Act and outlined how this legislation would assist federal law enforcement in combatting online sales of fentanyl.

“Your legislation will provide this critical data by directing the GAO to investigate the methods used to enable such online sales and assess the procedures and efforts of Federal law enforcement and online providers in combatting online sales of fentanyl. More specifically, the report will look into business models, patterns, and techniques utilized by online fentanyl traffickers, the scope and effectiveness of existing Federal initiatives aimed at countering fentanyl sales, and existing enforcement mechanisms and processes employed by online providers to detect and report transactions,” said Patrick Yoes, President, National Fraternal Order of Police. “On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue.”

Click here to read FOP’s full letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear Representatives Spanberger and Hunt,

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 7730, the “‘Targeting Online Sales of Fentanyl Act.”

In 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified that drug traffickers were increasingly relying upon online platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram to circulate deadly counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. Individuals who purchase these pills, which are primarily advertised to young people as routine over-the-counter prescription drugs, are not aware that these pills are often laced with deadly doses of fentanyl. Despite the significant risk posed by these online sales, Federal agencies lack reliable data to track these transactions or the effectiveness of potential countermeasures.

Your legislation will provide this critical data by directing the GAO to investigate the methods used to enable such online sales and assess the procedures and efforts of Federal law enforcement and online providers in combatting online sales of fentanyl. More specifically, the report will look into business models, patterns, and techniques utilized by online fentanyl traffickers, the scope and effectiveness of existing Federal initiatives aimed at countering fentanyl sales, and existing enforcement mechanisms and processes employed by online providers to detect and report transactions. This report will conclude with an analysis of the outcomes of referrals to law enforcement agencies regarding online fentanyl sales, along with areas requiring improvement.

On behalf of the more than 373,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership on this issue.

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