“Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict”: FBI & DEA Documentary & Poster Contest

In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, the FBI and DEA have released “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict,” a documentary aimed at educating students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. More at www.fbi.gov/ChasingTheDragon

Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to create and submit a poster that focuses on the consequences of using heroin and/or misuse of prescription opioids. Posters should be 24” x 36” and should be submitted, via mail or in person, to the FBI, Cleveland Division Field Office, 1501 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114, attn: Community Outreach Specialist, by 5:00 p.m. on March 9, 2018.

More than 400 superintendents/school principals in our area received informational packets regarding the Chasing the Dragon poster contest in an effort to help us and our partners spread the word.

Alumni of the FBI Future Agents in Training program will judge the submitted posters and announce the winners. Prize money is being provided by the FBI Cleveland Citizens Academy Foundation, Robby’s Voice, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Brandt, Westshore Enforcement Bureau, and Mr. James Watson. Winning posters are likely to be displayed in public venues upon the conclusion of the contest.

Students wishing to create and submit a poster may contact FBI Community Outreach Specialist Tamara Larkin at tmlarkin@fbi.gov for additional information and an entry form.

Fentanyl Analogues: Sensenbrenner Introduces Bill to Save Lives and Curb the Opioid Epidemic

February 5, 2018

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05), introduced the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act that will save lives by fighting the spread of fentanyl analogues. Specifically, the bill adds nineteen identified fentanyl analogues to the Schedule I drug list and provides the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) with the tools needed to quickly add other analogues as they are identified.

Sensenbrenner“With the opioid crisis tearing apart families across Wisconsin and the U.S., we must ramp up efforts to stop the proliferation of these drugs. This important legislation closes the loophole that allows these deadly drugs to continue pouring into our neighborhoods. It also provides law enforcement with the necessary tools to more effectively identify and schedule new fentanyl analogues. As Co-chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus, I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to end this epidemic.”

Background on the SOFA Act:

Fentanyl is currently classified as a Schedule II controlled substance used to treat cancer patients. However, it is dangerous and can be lethal outside of the careful supervision of a doctor. Fentanyl abuse is one of the leading contributors to the opioid epidemic.

A new chemical compound, known as an analogue, is created by modifying one small piece of the chemical structure of fentanyl. These compounds fall into a legal loophole and contribute to the alarming rate of opioid-related deaths in the U.S. In fact, data from the Center for Disease Control (see below) indicates that synthetic opioids, which includes fentanyl and its analogues, are the leading cause of drug overdoses.

Analogue producers are likely to continue developing new variations, and law enforcement agencies must have the tools to adapt to these changes. Under current law, DEA scheduling practices are reactive in nature. Typically, fentanyl analogues are only scheduled after they have resulted in deaths across multiples states.

The SOFA Act closes the legal loophole by adding nineteen known fentanyl analogues to the Schedule I list. It also gives the DEA the authority to immediately schedule new fentanyl analogues as they are discovered, making enforcement and scheduling procedures more proactive.

The bill shares the acronym of an organization started by Oconomowoc, WI resident Lauri Badura, who lost her son Archie to an overdose in 2014. Shortly after, she founded the faith-based non-profit Saving Others for Archie, Inc. to raise awareness and fight the opioid epidemic.

Lauri recently attended President Trump’s first State of the Union address as the guest of Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who has introduced the Senate Version of SOFA.

The full text of H.R. 4922, the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act is available here.

Rapper Whose Songs Include “Sell Drugz” Sentenced for Selling Drugs

Rapper Sentenced for Trafficking Fentanyl and Heroin

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

PROVIDENCE – A Johnston, R.I., rapper whose songs include “Sell Drugz,” “Feds Watching” and “All White,”  was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 36 months in federal prison for trafficking heroin and fentanyl.

Michael Persaud, aka “Montana Millz,” 30, also faces sentencing in Lebanon County, Pa., having been convicted at trial in August 2017 on 16 of 23 heroin trafficking, conspiracy and other drug trafficking related charges brought as a result of an investigation into his drug trafficking activities in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range of imprisonment in this matter is 78-97 months. The government recommended the Court impose a sentence of 78 months in prison. Persaud pleaded guilty on October 23, 2017, to five counts of distribution of fentanyl, and one count each of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and distribution of heroin.

According to information presented to the Court, during a 4 ½ month period of time beginning in October 2016, an East Providence undercover detective arranged for several purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Persaud. In total, nearly 22 grams of fentanyl and 2 grams of heroin were delivered to the detective. In several instances, Persaud used other individuals to assist in the delivery of the drugs. In at least two such instances, Persaud was driven by his girlfriend and mother of three of his children to deliver fentanyl to the undercover detective.

On March 30, 2017, members of the East Providence Police Department, with the assistance of the RI DEA Drug Task Force, executed a court-authorized search of the Providence residence of the mother of one of Michael Persaud’s children. Law enforcement seized 44 grams of fentanyl hidden in the residence by Persaud.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin and Ronald R. Gendron.