CORNING - NY Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, advocated for a bill at Corning City Hall Friday that would crack down hard on illicit shipments and smuggling of Fentanyl into the United States.
Schumer said the bill, known as the INTERDICT Act, is bipartisan and would provide federal authorities with more resources to fight the drug. These resources would include more border agents and scientists, drug labs, training, and new portable devices that can apparently detect and intercept shipments of Fentanyl and other illegal drugs.
Fentanyl is an opioid and heroin substitute that’s often produced by underground chemists and shipped to the United States from Mexico or China, according to Schumer.
“These deadly substances are being delivered to our homes, being sold on our streets, and destroying our families,” Schumer said in a statement. “We know how they get here and where they come from. Now we need to give CBP the additional resources it needs to stop this flood and help save lives.”
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said illicit Fentanyl use is growing rapidly throughout the county.
“It’s increasing,” he said. “We’re seeing more of it mixed to the point where it’s an incredible safety issue for not only deputies on the road but also correctional officers when these folks come to jail.”
He’s on board with the bill because if successful, it will grant law enforcement agencies at the border areas with technology that supposedly identifies with ease any packages or vehicle smuggling Fentanyl into the country. This could mean less Fentanyl flowing into the local area.
“Anything we can do that’s going to increase our ability to isolate it from coming into the area, anything we can do to trace it back to those that are sending it here is a benefit for the entire community,” he said.
Allard said Fentanyl originally was a pharmaceutical drug, but today it’s largely an underground lab-made drug that’s sent into the country specifically to be sold illicitly.
The INTERDICT Act was introduced in March. It is currently under review among lawmakers.