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Congressman Richard Neal

Representing the 1st District of Massachusetts

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Reps. Tiberi and Neal Introduce the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act

February 14, 2017
Press Release

(WASHINGTON) Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) introduced the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act (STOP Act) today, legislation designed to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders from countries like China to drug traffickers here in the United States. U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the Senate.

“My home state of Ohio is a top destination for synthetic drugs that are smuggled across our borders through the mail from countries like China,” said Congressman Pat Tiberi. “We must keep these drugs, which are so potent a dose the size of a snowflake can kill, from hitting our communities by closing this loophole in the U.S. postal system. In the House, I’m grateful to have a partner like Ranking Member Richard Neal so that we can raise bipartisan support for the STOP Act and see it reach the president’s desk.”

“In Massachusetts, more than 2,600 people died from opioid related deaths since 2015. And fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin, was a factor in a majority of those deadly overdoses. The synthetic drug epidemic is growing problem that is afflicting families in every part of America. That is why I am continuing to work with Representative Pat Tiberi in a bipartisan effort to stop these drugs from entering our country illegally. We believe that action is needed now in Congress to help stop this public health crisis,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

NOTE: Fentanyl and, increasingly, carfentanil are causing a spike in overdoses and deaths around the country. China and India have been cited as the primary source countries for illicitly produced fentanyl and carfentanil in the United States. Companies based in these and other foreign countries take advantage of weaknesses in international mail security standards to break U.S. customs laws and regulations by shipping drugs directly through the U.S. postal system. Unlike UPS or FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service does not require advance electronic customs data for the vast majority of mail entering the United States. Because of the volume of mail, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cannot manually scan these packages and stop illicit goods from crossing our borders.