Customs and Border Protection Confirms Advanced Electronic Data Essential to Detecting & Stopping Deadly Drugs

May 25, 2017 | Press Releases

Bipartisan STOP Act Requires Postal Service to Obtain Advanced Data to Better Target Synthetic Drugs Like Fentanyl

WASHINGTON, D.C – During the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) hearing on Stopping the Shipment of Synthetic Opioids: Oversight of U.S. Strategy to Combat Illicit Drugs, Robert Perez, Acting Executive Assistant Commissioner, at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, confirmed to Chairman Rob Portman (R-OH) that having the advance electronic data required in the bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act would “unquestionably” help their agency keep deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from reaching our communities.

Transcript of the exchange can be found below and a video can be found here.

Chairman Portman:I think we need to back up and talk about what this hearing is all about. Is it helpful, and Mr. Perez I expect your answer on this, but all of you – is it helpful to have advance electronic data to identify these packages that have this poison in them, which is what were focused on today. Synthetic opioids are coming into our country, killing more and more of our citizens every day. Do you want to have that advance electronic data and is that helpful to you to be able to stop some of this poison from coming into our communities? Yes or no?”

Robert Perez: “Unquestionably, Mr. Chairman. Having that advance electronic data as we do receive for all of the types of cargos is a key tool in our ability to manage and assess risk, to focus and target those threats that may warrant a greater inspection, potential threats that may warrant a greater inspection, cargos, people, conveyances of all types. And so, unquestionably, having that data, working toward getting that advanced data, and making sure that it is of high quality and reliable for us to do that work, is a high priority and the reason why we’re working so closely with our colleagues to get to that point.”

Portman: “Otherwise it’s like the needle in the haystack I talked about earlier. And I meet with your folks back home and they use the exact word you just used. This is a tool we desperately need. Otherwise were just not as effective at stopping this stuff. And it’s other contraband as well but we’re focused here on a crisis.”

Portman’s opening statement can be found here.