Federal, state attorneys want extension of fentanyl order

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A U.S. attorney in Tennessee is joining other federal and state attorneys who are urging Congress to extend an order that criminalizes the dangerous opioid fentanyl and related substances.

D. Michael Dunavant is the U.S. attorney for West Tennessee based in Memphis. He said in a statement Tuesday that law enforcement would lose an important tool for fighting illegal fentanyl distribution if the order is not extended or made permanent.

Dunanvant went on to say that law enforcement officers had been seeing relatively small amounts of fentanyl from China making its way to West Tennessee. More recently, they’ve seen an uptick in the amounts of Mexican cartel-produced fentanyl.

“The cartels are using their established and prolific distribution networks to deliver fentanyl – a substance that is exponentially more dangerous than both methamphetamine and heroin.We continue to be very aggressive in prosecuting these cases, as shown by these recent examples:”

In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued an order making fentanyl-related substances illegal. It expires Feb. 6.

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