FRANKFORT, KY (Jan. 19, 2024) – Attorney General Russell Coleman and a multistate coalition of attorneys general called on President Biden to address a federal loophole that enables fentanyl and other illicit drugs to be smuggled into the United States.
In a letter, the attorneys general urge the President to address the serious shortcomings of the current inspection process that was established more than 85 years ago.
Currently, small package imports valued under $800 receive little scrutiny from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and nearly three million of these shipments enter the United States every day. Without diligent inspection, drug cartels and traffickers can abuse this system to bring fentanyl and other deadly drugs directly into our country.
"Vast amounts of deadly fentanyl are pouring into our country and Commonwealth every day," said Attorney General Coleman. "Our children are dying right now while foreign adversaries and bad actors exploit this loophole to turn a profit. President Biden must stop ignoring this crisis, secure America's borders and take swift action to keep fentanyl and other deadly drugs out of our communities."
In their letter, the attorneys general urge the Biden Administration to prioritize increased screening and enforcement measures to counter the illegal drug trade.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), China is driving the surge of fentanyl-related substances coming into the United States, and CBP has acknowledged the current inspection system isn't adequately addressing this crisis.
Fentanyl is the leading cause of overdose death in America, contributing to nearly 73% of overdose deaths in Kentucky and around 67% nationwide.
General Coleman joined South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who led the letter, as well as attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
View a copy of the letter here.