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Rep. Ruben Gallego introduces legislation to combat fentanyl money laundering

Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s Third District introduced a new bill to help curb money laundering related to the illegal fentanyl trafficking.

Already in 2023, there will be 340 confirmed overdose deaths statewide, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. The agency reported nearly 2,000 overdose deaths across Arizona in 2022.

Prescription and synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) were the most frequently reported overdose deaths recorded in 2023.

“Fentanyl is the cheapest and deadliest drug we have ever seen, and combating it requires a multifaceted approach. My bill targets financial institutions that support fentanyl traffickers, It hurts their pockets and they lose a place to launder their dirty money,” said Rep. Gallego in a statement.

This law is known as The Back Stop Here Act — trying to mitigate the impact of the fentanyl epidemic through the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover was among those who voted in favor of the bill.

“The easy solution of clearing the streets is short-sighted, unsafe, and expensive. “It’s about focusing taxpayer money on real, solution-oriented investigations. We encourage bipartisan support to join Congressman Gallego,” Conover said.

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