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Bill passed to curtail Fentanyl

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate has passed a bill, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, which was aimed at keeping illegal Fentanyl out of country.

Brown was joined by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, in forcing a vote on the bipartisan legislation, which passed unanimously on Friday.

The legislation has already passed the House of Representatives and will now go to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

“Ohioans are dying from overdoses at the second highest rate in the country. Families are being torn apart,” Brown said in a statement. “Children are losing parents. Parents are losing sons and daughters. And we know fentanyl is one of the main culprits. I urge President Trump to sign our bipartisan bill into law immediately, so we can give law enforcement the tools they need to keep this drug out of Ohio and off our streets.”

Brown’s office said his INTERDICT Act will provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with additional hi-tech screening equipment and lab resources to detect fentanyl before it enters the U.S. and will authorize $15 million for hundreds of new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel for lab support.

His office said the funds will be used to provide more portable chemical screening devices at ports of entry and mail and express consignment facilities and additional fixed chemical screening devices available in CBP laboratories, as well as provide CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities, including scientists available during all operational hours, to interpret screening test results from the field.

Brown’s bill is backed by the Fraternal Order of Police, who sent a letter to the Senate this week, urging its passage.