Bipartisan bill aimed a stopping fentanyl supply chain added to Senate’s annual defense bill

DAYTON — A bill in Congress aimed at fighting fentanyl in our communities may have just gotten on the fast track to becoming law.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is one of the co-sponsors of the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, which is no longer a stand-alone bill as of this week.

In a one-on-one interview with News Center 7′s John Bedell Thursday, Brown talked about his legislative plan’s new path to the president’s desk, calling it a “big victory.”

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: I-TEAM: Newly introduced bipartisan bill takes aim at stopping fentanyl supply chain

The legislation is now included in the National Defense Authorization Act, the Senate’s annual defense bill. Brown said this is because “it is a national security issue.”

“What’s happening with Chinese precursor chemicals, what’s happening with the Mexican criminal organized crime syndicates making this fentanyl and sending it to the United States,” Brown said.

Law enforcement officials have told us the fight against drug traffickers is not one they can arrest their way out of. They said the key to stopping the deadly trend of fentanyl overdose deaths is cutting off the cash flow to criminal organizations.

As News Center 7 previously reported, Ohio leads the nation for the number of packages of fentanyl intercepted by the United States Postal Service in the last three years.

>> I-TEAM: Several local communities among hottest destinations for illegal drug shipments in Ohio

The bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act would direct the United States Treasury to sanction and block assets of criminal drug organizations from chemical suppliers in China to the drug cartels in Mexico that smuggle fentanyl into the country.

“To stop this stuff, you aim at their bank accounts and you start sanctioning everything they do, all the illegitimate criminal activity, and you start sanctioning their accumulation of wealth and they start thinking of looking elsewhere to make their money,” Brown said Thursday.

Brown said he thinks the bill will end up on President Joe Biden’s desk “in the next few weeks.”