Spanberger Applauds U.S. Senate Introduction of Her Bipartisan Bill to Crack Down on Illegal Pill Presses, Combat Illicit Fentanyl

The Bipartisan, Bicameral “CAST Act” Would Raise Penalties for Criminals Who Use Pill Presses to Create and Distribute Counterfeit Drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today praised the introduction of her bipartisan Criminalizing Abused Substance Templates (CAST) Act in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the U.S. Senate version of the CAST Act, which would crack down on narcotics traffickers who are using illicit pill presses to manufacture counterfeit drugs.

The CAST Act would address this enforcement issue by modifying the Controlled Substances Act to clearly define the criminal penalty for making counterfeit drugs using a pill press. Additionally, the legislation would stiffen penalties for criminals who use pill presses to create and distribute counterfeit drugs — including fentanyl and other opioids.

“Congress must do more to prevent illicit substances — like fentanyl — from being pressed into pills and sold on our streets. As a former federal law enforcement officer and CIA case officer who worked narcotics trafficking cases and tracked cartels, I’ve seen firsthand the threats posed by the criminal production of counterfeit drugs,” said Spanberger. “By strengthening the penalties for narcotics traffickers who use illicit pill presses to manufacture drugs, we are empowering our law enforcement officers to crack down on these criminals. I’m encouraged by our bipartisan legislation’s momentum in the U.S. Senate, and I will continue to work to keep illicit fentanyl and other deadly substances out of our communities.”

Spanberger reintroduced her legislation in March 2023 with U.S. Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08), and the duo first introduced the CAST Act in October 2019 during the 116th Congress.

Spanberger has consistently worked to block deadly drugs — including illicit fentanyl — from entering Virginia’s communities, including by:

  • Targeting online sales of illicit drugs. Earlier this year, Spanberger introduced bipartisan legislation — the Targeting Online Sales of Fentanyl Act — to help address the online sale of counterfeit pills and illicit drugs laced with fentanyl.
  • Giving law enforcement officers the tools and training they need. In May 2023, Spanberger introduced her bipartisan, bicameral legislation — the POWER Act — to provide state and local law enforcement with new devices to detect and identify dangerous drugs — including fentanyl.
  • Cracking down on fentanyl trafficking at America’s borders and ports of entry. In December 2022, the President signed into law Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation — the Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act — to strengthen America’s response to fentanyl coming through the nation’s borders and ports of entry.
  • Fighting Tranq and holding drug traffickers accountable. In April 2023, Spanberger backed the Combating Illicit Xylazine Act, which would address the abuse of xylazine-adulterated fentanyl — also known as “tranq” — by empowering law enforcement to go after these criminals. Additionally, it would classify the illicit use of xylazine as a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

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