Lankford Digs into Root Causes of Fentanyl Flow into the US

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on YouTube.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) participated in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight hearing today entitled, “Strengthening International Cooperation to Stop the Flow of Fentanyl into the United States,” in which he questioned the panel of witnesses on what the US is doing—and not doing—to actually stop the flow of fentanyl into the US that is claiming the lives of Oklahomans. Lankford pushed for more information on how we can better hold the Mexican criminal cartels accountable and what resources are needed to hold malign actors across the entire supply chain of fentanyl accountable to prevent deaths and stop international criminal organizations from benefiting financially from the deaths of Americans.

Witneses at today’s hearing included: Vanda Felbab-Brown, PhD, the Director of the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors at the Brookings Institution; Celina Realuyo, the Professor of Practice at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University; and Christopher Urben, the Managing Director at Nardello & Co.


Lankford: Criminal consequences here for those who are trafficking fentanyl—is there a need to be able to increase consequences? Obviously on the federal level for trafficking across the border or to be able to hold people greater to account, if there is a death from fentanyl, to be able to be able to trace that back to everyone in the chain of distribution.

Urben: So, absolutely. Everyone should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law—from the death back to the source of supply. We should be using the racketeering laws that we have that we went after Italian organized crime. We should be going after Chinese organized crime that’s operating in this country…

Lankford: Is that happening right now?

Urben: No