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tv   Justice Department Hosts National Opioid Summit - Panel 2  CSPAN  December 13, 2018 4:02am-4:54am EST

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calling on burma's government to release imprisoned journalists. c-span 2 will have coverage of the senate. and at 930 eastern, john bolton will give a speech on u.s. policy in africa. the justice department hosted a national opioid summit in washington dc. you can watch all of it at c- span.org, by typing opioid summit in the search bar. this event includes a discussion with federal and state law enforcement officials.
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a lot of good conversations going on, and that is exactly what we want at the summit. our second panel is called enforcement, a justice department imperative. we will discuss our efforts to combat the epidemic. our acting associate attorney general, jesse panuccio, is moderating the panel. he previously served as the director of the florida department of economic opportunity and also served as the general counsel to the governor of florida. he is a graduate of harvard law school and duke university. in his current role, he oversees the department's civil division, the community oriented policing service and the office of victims of crime. these are all key doj components in combating the
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epidemic. all of our panelists oversee their own components or agencies and i will leave it to mister jesse panuccio to introduce them. >> thank you for that introduction and for your tireless efforts to help address the opioid crisis. it remains a privilege to continue to work with you to address the opioid crisis. i want to say, many thanks to the panel we just heard from who are providing resources and care to those who suffer from the consequences of this terrible addiction crisis we have. we are so appreciative of what they do. as you heard, that panel was a lot about treatment and how we care for those who are addicted, but enforcement is the other side of our efforts. so we turn from that topic to
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the issue of how we stem the tide. are we drive down the illicit production, distribution and use of opioids. as you heard this morning, one of the justice department's top priorities is driving down the death toll from opioids. more than 200,000 people perished in the last two decades because of opioid overdoses. almost a quarter of those deaths occurred in 2016 alone. to put that in perspective, opioid deaths in 2016 outranked automobile fatalities, gun fatalities and alcohol fatalities. 116 people per day are dying from opioids. to put it in perspective for you. it is staggering to think about. this ghastly death toll is the result of our country being flooded by opioids, synthetic opioids, and heroin. there are people, companies,
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criminal enterprises and gangs responsible for this. it is our duty and it is our intention that the department of justice to hold them responsible. that applies to the entire supply chain. manufacturers, distributors, doctors, pharmacies, organized crime, and street dealers. those who have spent years violating this nation's drug laws and profit off of addiction are going to be held accountable. the department will bring to this fight, all of its tools and resources. criminal prosecution will continue to be a large part of our effort. we will indict and prosecute those who manufacture, import and sell heroin and synthetic opioids and we will likewise prosecute doctors and pharmacists to misuse their controlled substance registration in the distribution and prescription of opioids. we will also use the full
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arsenal of the department's civil enforcement authority. for example, the false claims act provides that apartment with a powerful tool to pursue all of those in the opioid distribution chain that are responsible for improper marketing, distribution and diversion. much of our work in this area is not yet public, but i can assure you that a reckoning is coming for those that have defrauded the government in the course of profiting from opioids. another important example of civil enforcement is an ongoing cooperative effort between the department of justice and several u.s. attorneys offices to promote a provision of the controlled substances act to halt illegal prescribing by doctors and pharmacists. the northern district of ohio announced the first of these cases this summer. we are also exploring the use of the federal food, drug and cosmetic act in these cases. doctors and pharmacists need to be on the front line of this
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crisis. they need to prescribe responsibly and lawfully. and if they do not, we have the tools to hold them accountable. one set of commentators described the recent cases from the northern district of ohio is the department getting creative and aggressive. the department has rediscovered a potentially powerful tool and is now showing it is willing to use it. that is absolutely correct. the commentator was right to warn anyone at all connected to the opioid business to take heed of what we are doing. cases like these will give the tools to stop bad actors, before and during prosecution. and even when the evidence falls short of what is necessary for a criminal case. we will continue to bring actions for civil monetary penalties up to $62,500 for
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each errant prescription and up to $14,500 for each record- keeping violation involving controlled substances. these penalties can and often do result in civil complaints. they provide a powerful incentive for controlled substance registrants to follow, closely, federal regulation. at the same time, the dea will continue to bring action to revoke the controlled substance registration when doctors and pharmacists break the rules. and investigators and tactical diversion squads will continue to conduct inspections and investigations that provide the evidence for all of the enforcement tools. in sum, the department of justice is using every resource we have, criminal, civil, and administrative, to combat the opioid crisis. we want the message to be very clear. those caught in this crisis will be brought to justice. we have today a very distinguished panel to discuss
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our enforcement efforts. they are uniquely qualified. each of their extended bios, i could spend 10 or 15 minutes on. their extended bios are in your materials. i will point you to those and offer only a brief introduction. we are joined by brian benczkowski, the assistant attorney general. we are joined by justin herdman, from the northern district of ohio, who will discuss some of the cases his district has brought, including the cases from the summer that i just mentioned. we are also joined by uttam dhillon, the acting administrator of the dea, who will discuss the important work is agency is done with doctors and pharmacists who break the law. and the process the dea has it it's disposal to revoke controlled substances registrations. and we are joined by david
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bowdich, will discuss the bureau's cooperation to gather evidence for use by local law enforcement. gentlemen, thanks to each of you for joining us on this panel. i will open it up with a question that would be for everyone. if you can discuss in five minutes each, i know this is a big question for five minutes, but how are your agencies contributing to the overall efforts to combat the opioid epidemic? brian, perhaps you could address the components in the criminal division. justin, you could highlight what you have done with operation synthetic opioid surge. uttam dhillon, if you could discuss the opioid impact today. and david, if you could discuss the success of the fbi dealing with synthetic painkillers and
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opioids. let's go down the line. >> it is an honor and a privilege to be here today to represent the brave men and women of the drug enforcement administration. this is an important week for dea. this saturday, october 27, is national prescription drug take back day. it is from 10:00 to 2:00 and it will be at locations all across the country. collection locations all across the country. it is the day we encourage all americans to look in the medicine cabinet and pull out all of those prescription drugs they are not using and go to that collection location near them and deposit them for a safe and secure disposal. anybody who is watching this who wants to know where to go, all you need to do is go to deatakeback.com and you will
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find a location near you. there are 5000 locations across the country that will be receiving prescription medications, this saturday, from 10:00 to 2:00. it is important to do this. so many americans have become addicted to the medicines and their medicine cabinets. getting those medicines out and properly disposing of them is critical. since we started this program in 2010, we have collected almost 10 million pounds of medications. we do it twice a year. the last was in april and we collected over 900,000 pounds. we are hoping to at least match that, if not obtain more, or collect more, this saturday. the second thing i wanted to mention, the attorney general talked about how prevention is part of enforcement. that is one element of prevention that the dea focuses on, the take back day.
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this is red ribbon week. this is an important week for the drug enforcement administration. this is a week when we remember the special agent, henrique camarena, who was brutally murdered by mexican drug traffickers, 33 years ago. every year at this time we remember agent camarena's ultimate sacrifice. we also have programs throughout the country, at schools, where we teach it -- we teach the dangers of drug addiction. we asked them to take a pledge not to become addicted to drugs. this is an important time for the dea, in terms of our prevention model. i will say briefly, what we are doing from an enforcement perspective, very quickly. we are increasing the number of special agents. we are adding task force off -- task force officers. the attorney general has
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increased the number of federal prosecutors who will be prosecuting drug cases. the dea is focused completely and totally on fighting the crisis, from the prevention area that we discussed, as well as full force on the enforcement. our goal is to dismantle drug organizations and we are completely focused on that. >> thank you. would you like to address this issue? >> i would. thank you for allowing me to address you today. i represent the fbi, director ray, and 31,000 men and women tasked with keeping the nation safe. we work with everyone at this table and people throughout the world on this problem. sometimes i will step back from a highly complex issue and say to myself, if you look at the way things work, we have been here before. i will say this about this
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problem, i don't know, but we have had major drug issues before in this country and we have found a way to it address them, to the best of our ability. we are only a piece of this solution. we recognize that. as long as demand is here, you will have drugs coming into this country, but we have a responsibility to do everything we can to mitigate that. and, to the point made earlier, to hold people accountable. at the fbi we focus on a number of things. we work with our partners at the state and local level, very closely. mostly with the dea and the department of homeland security, as well. the dea, from the department of justice, they are the lead on drug investigation. so we work very closely with them. we do this to address the international criminal organizations. some of those organizations start in mexico. i will talk about synthetic opioids, to include fentanyl.
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the origin the days the origin of the vast majority is from china. -- the origin of the vast majority is from china. our concern is, this is why i say sometimes nothing is new under the sun, it was started in the canyons of california and a few other places, but eventually evolved to being produced in the super labs in mexico and that is when it became much more efficient and much more productive, for the trafficking groups. once they get it here, then it goes to the street gangs and the street gangs will distribute it. or in this case, it will go to your networks that are focused on these particular problems. those are multiple points where we can interject and work hand- in-hand with our partners to make sure we address those networks and hold them
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accountable for bringing this dangerous substance into our country. we do have concerns that the same thing could happen here. fentanyl is produced, much of it in china, again. could you see some of the super labs being multipurpose in mexico? absolutely. that would make it more plentiful, coming into the country. so we have a massive job ahead of us. but we will continue to work, hand in hand. i recognize for those in the room that we are simply one piece of the solution. to better address the original question i was asked, we do have what we call the prescription drug initiative which focuses purely on criminal enterprises engaged in prescription drug schemes. that is fairly easy. the enterprises if you look at them, a gang or a drug cartel, they have sales arms, enforcement arms. they have guns. they have money laundering. the prescription drug scheme networks may have less of the violence, but they are the
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same. they are run like a business, like any other organization. the next thing we are doing is working on the dark web. the distribution networks. this is a very prevalent area in which we have had a number of successes, to address the trafficking of synthetic opioids, in particular on the darknet. it is very concerning. we have a lot of undercover efforts to address this issue. finally, we work with the dea very closely on an education project where we produced a couple of videos for the public consumption. we found those to be relatively effective. it is difficult to measure the true effectiveness of it, but we do receive a lot of comments. those were jointly produced videos that were designed to educate. with that, i turn it over.
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>> thank you. >> thank you. it is fair to say there is no higher priority in the criminal division than this issue right now. the president and the attorney general have set the tone and that alone would be enough under normal circumstances to elevate this to the top of the list. but, for me, this issue is a little bit personal. my father spent 30 years of his career in both the public and private sectors, including more than 20 years in the district of columbia, in the field of addiction treatment and prevention. so i am very proud, not only of his record, but also to lead the men and women of the criminal division on the law enforcement side of this equation. the criminal division is a big place. we have many different sections. those sections are aligned very
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well to address the variety of ways that opioids are manufactured, distributed and trafficked in the united states. we have our narcotics and dangerous drugs section, which works hand-in-hand with the united states attorney's offices around the country, as well as our organized crime and gangs section, both of whom attack, almost every day, large drug trafficking organizations, including organizations trafficking heroin and fentanyl into the united states from china and mexico. our criminal property section is working furiously to attack the problem of fentanyl distribution in places like the dark web, on the internet, and probably most importantly, the highest profile initiative involves our fraud section. the attorney general announced this morning a task force that will be led, by he said, a
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dozen, i think it will be more than that. a dozen plus federal prosecutors will go into nine states and five judicial districts in appalachia, partner with our attorney general's offices around the country, to bring experienced prosecutors to bear to work side-by-side with u.s. attorneys offices in those affected districts to target doctors. to target pharmacies. to target healthcare professionals that are spreading this disease and this addiction and this poison in those communities. the way it will work is the way it has always worked. we bring a strikeforce model to bear in these states. we send in, at the request of the united states attorneys and with respect to the strikeforce that was announced today, i had an opportunity, i and my deputy, to speak to all nine
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u.s. attorneys before we did this and we had enthusiastic support from all nine u.s. attorneys for us to come into the districts and work to prosecute cases in one of the most deeply and artist hit parts of the country. the way we do it is, through, in addition to the typical hard work that prosecutors do working with our federal law enforcement partners to make cases, we use modern technology, data analytics, to mine a variety of data. medicare and medicaid data and other data to give us a very clear sense of who the highest risk outlier physicians and pharmacies are in these communities, so when we go in, we are not making cases where it takes two or three years. we are able to do these things in a matter of months. the sooner you can take off these doctors and others who are spreading prescription opioids in these communities, those are lives that are saved when you do your cases much
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more quickly. so, that is an overview of what we do in the criminal division. the hallmark of what we do under my leadership, and it has been the criminal divisions approach over the years, but i think we are taking an even greater approach to this going forward, making sure we are the greatest partners we can possibly be with our u.s. attorney colleagues in the field. justin and i had an opportunity to work on a case that i think you will talk about. our offices. it is a great case of collaboration between the criminal division and the u.s. attorney's office. will be the best partners we can be in the field. i see a lot of u.s. attorneys in the audience and we look forward to working with you. wherever you will have us, we will be the best partners we can possibly be. >> brian, thank you. i want to follow-up on one issue. on the strikeforce issue, on the civil side, cooperating with local law enforcement to
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build evidence is important. is that part of these models? >> it is. i think we should utilize the things that work, so we work not only with the dea and fbi, but we strongly encourage our local u.s. attorneys to utilize local law enforcement in these matters, wherever they are willing to participate. we absolutely want that to continue. i don't think we could make these cases without state and local support. >> thank you. >> thank you. i just want to say at the outset, i am honored to be here on behalf of our united states attorney community. i know several of my colleagues are here and i think it really does demonstrate to all of us how important this is. there are 93 of us across the country. the stories that we heard on the first panel, those are stories that we have heard in our communities. we are of our communities and
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we are there to protect our communities. when you think of the stories that were told in that first panel, the fact that they were replicated 72,000 times last year in each of our districts, it is something i don't have to say it, but i will say it, we are absolutely committed to addressing it. when you think that almost all of those 72,000 deaths were the result of some sort of criminal or illegal conduct, it calls for a strategy that we can employ and implement in our districts. one of the opportunities we have been given from the department of justice with the resources we have been provided is a 10 pilot districts -- is in 10 pilot districts. it spans from new england, maine, new hampshire, all the way to the eastern district of
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california. then there is a cluster of districts in the heartland of america. both districts in ohio, both in west virginia. the western district of pennsylvania. the eastern district of kentucky and the eastern district of tennessee. i think almost all of my colleagues from those districts are here. that really illustrates the impact in our communities of the opioid crisis. what we have committed to doing is selecting one county within our districts where we will prosecute every readily provable opioid case involving fentanyl. we don't see very much heroin anymore, but we will prosecute that, too. we will do them all out of these particular counties. there is a reason for that. we didn't think of this, it was first implemented in the middle district of florida, in manatee county. the results they witnessed were outstanding. a drop of up to 77% of overdoses over the course of the project
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be implemented down there. a drop of 74% in overdose fatalities. our objective in each of our districts is to drive the death rate down. we can do that by attacking fentanyl dealers and suppliers. my colleague is here from the district of vermont. i have heard her say several times, and i co-opted it, if somebody is dealing fentanyl, they might as well be dealing cyanide or arsenic. it is absolute poison. where people are profiting from selling that poison in all of our districts, we are committed to bringing them to justice. in ohio, we selected lorrain county -- we selected lorrain county, west of cleveland. a former steel mill county. it had auto plants. it suffered economically, like much of our region, but also has suffered from the opioid crisis. the county witnessed 130 deaths per year, almost all of which
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were from opioids. the death rate is the seventh highest in our district of the 40 counties in ohio. we selected that county because we thought it was a place where we could make an above average impact by implementing this program. we also had, this is very important and i know my colleagues have followed the same lines, very close relationships with our county prosecutor, in lorrain county, and local law enforcement. we have worked very tightly with the police departments over the years and as a result we have great cooperation between the fbi and dea. it is a place we thought we could make an impact. we rolled our own version out in july, right when the attorney general announced this. since then, we charged 21 people for dealing almost exclusively fentanyl, but also fentanyl analogs and some fentanyl that is laced in pills. of those, i think this is where
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you can start to see the impact, 15 of them were out on bond for county level drug trafficking offenses. these are people that had been arrested multiple times, had been released from the local courts, were back out on the street and dealing. we were able to take them off the street and detain them. that is 24 people that are not dealing fentanyl anymore. they are detained, some are awaiting trial and some of them have fled. another thing that is important to point out is that of these 24 people we arrested, 15 were also career offenders. these are people facing significant penalties. decades in prison because of their criminal history. again, these are cases that we may not have otherwise taken, because they have a very low threshold of sales involved. another critical component we
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see in these cases is the intersection with violent crime. we arrested 24 people since july. five of them had firearms and ammunition on them at the time of their arrest. they are out on the street, on bond, or some kind of supervision. we arrest them for a new drug case and they have firearms, including a gentleman last week who had an ak-47 on him when he was arrested. so, we feel good about the progress we have made so far. we are encouraged by the preliminary numbers we have seen. again, the objective is to drive down the death rate in the selected geographic region. we feel very good about what we have seen so far. we will continue to push forward and we are encouraged by the support we continue to get from the department on this project. >> you have some great experience using different tools in parallel, whether it is the criminal investigative tools you have just described are the civil injunction i
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mentioned earlier. the pathway that you and the civil branch brought. can you talk, for the u.s. attorneys that are here or those that are watching, on the practicalities, the challenges of using parallel proceedings? >> i think it is an absolutely critical component of what we are obligated to do out of our offices. if you have a law enforcement tool that is on the shelf in a crisis like this, you better take it down, dusted off and figure out how to use it. that is what we tried to do across all our attorneys in the u.s. attorney's office. whether you are in the civil space for the criminal space, this is all hands on deck. everyone is part of the solution. what that enables us to do is when you have a civil and criminal prosecutor at the same table, talking about a districtwide strategy, it allows us to come up with really creative solutions to a
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problem that is unprecedented. that is what we will need more of, if we are going to get through this. what we will do, as we developed a list of targets, we go through them line by line and look at, from a civil and criminal perspective, how we can develop an investigation into any one of these targets and come up with a strategy related to each target. some are worked jointly. some are work individually by criminal prosecutors. some are worked individually by civil prosecutors. this framework has allowed us to move more quickly than we otherwise would have. the cases that we filed over the summer were cases where we saw an eminent need to seek injunctive relief from the courts to prevent further prescribing from doctors who truly have thrown any sort of idea of care for their patients out the window. they were overprescribing or they were just flat out selling
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narcotics and controlled substances for cash. so something we felt like we needed to move quickly, and the controlled substances act and the conjunctive relief under that act, enabled us to move much more briskly than if we had tried to build a case in the grand jury and indicted folks. it allowed us to move right away. it was very exciting and a great opportunity that we couldn't of done without teamwork from both our civil and criminal prosecutors. >> thank you. when you are working with parallel proceedings, the ag often likes to say, 5% of law enforcement is local. as i mentioned, sometimes building evidence for these cases, local coroners, state licensing boards, can be efforts , as well. it also means with working -- it also means working with
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local partners. let me ask you a similar question. the dea has similar tools at its disposal. it has civil and administrative tools. can you talk about the importance of using both of them? >> yes. let me make a point about collaboration. we could not do our jobs without working closely with our federal and state and local partners. on the administrative side, dea does several things. first, dea sets quotas for the amount of controlled substances that manufacturers can manufacture every year. we have been reducing those quotas significantly. the idea here is, supply matters. what we don't want is more addictive drugs available than are actually needed for medical and research purposes. so over the last four or five years, we have reduced the
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quotas for these drugs, about 44%. it is important from our perspective to always make sure those medications are available to those who need them, but it is also important to make sure those are available at a level where diversion of large numbers of prescription medications and controlled substances cannot occur. the other thing we do is the enforcement side, in respect to a registrant. they are anyone who is registered to handle controlled substances. this goes manufacturers, everyone from a manufacturer, to a pharmacist, to your family physician. these are all registrants. one of our tools is to look at if they are properly handling controlled substances. a classic case will be a doctor who is presiding -- who is prescribing opioids to someone
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who does not need them. where it is not medically necessary. we see that on a number of cases. when we see that, we can take administrative action against those individuals and we can essentially take away their registration, so they can no longer handle controlled substances. those are two of the ways on the regulatory side that dea is handling the crisis. >> thank you. brian, let me turn back to you. you mentioned that the criminal division has a variety of tools. one of them is asset forfeiture work. i wonder if you can discuss a few examples of how that is playing out. >> absolutely. another section in criminal division is the money laundering and asset recovery section. it is a group of lawyers and analyst whose job it is to take the profit out of criminal activity, by seizing and forfeiting the proceeds of
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crime. and they work across a number of areas, from the traditional types of money laundering that you typically see, in large scale drug organizations. so, both paths coming across the border into mexico and it gets seized by our law enforcement partners at the border. it is oftentimes our lawyers who do the legal work to seize that cash and forfeit it. the same thing with trade based money laundering, which is taking dirty money and working it into a legitimate business and washing it around. our lawyers and analysts work at those occurrences, in order to attack cartels, local drug organizations and others who are trying to move the cash from their illicit activity. and be able to continue to use it. one of the things we are seeing
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more of now, with the advent of the use of the dark web to transmit, to sell fentanyl analogs and precursor pharma goals, is the use of cryptocurrency's and other high- tech means for moving value around the world. that is becoming increasingly difficult to address. but our lawyers and analysts along with folks in the criminal crime and intellectual property section, the techie, geeky lawyers that we have, are working together to figure out how to craft the problem of cryptocurrency to move value in connection with these transactions. finally, we have a bank integrity unit in the criminal division that works with financial institutions to make sure financial institutions are doing everything they possibly can to meet their obligations under the bank secrecy act, to
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know their customers, so when money is moved into financial institutions, they are filing the proper paperwork with the federal government, including suspicious activity reports, which we used to look for opportunities to follow the money back into the criminal system in order to attack the flows, that way. those are just a couple of ways that we use our access in the criminal division to attack. as i said, the criminal activity, in addition to going after the individuals, i think it is incumbent upon us, and the attorney general has been very clear about this in the three months i have been on the job, it isn't just finding criminals and prosecuting them and locking them up. he has also said on repeated locations -- on repeated occasions, we
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need to follow the money and we will continue to do that. >> back to you, the illegal drug sales on the darknet, as we know, and we heard earlier on the panel, it came from the darknet. so, with that dries and the rise of transactional crime, can you talk a little bit about how the bureau works with international partners in this space? >> i can. i touched on this earlier. take the street gangs out of it. there are two cartels that are really controlling, or have the most heroin production. that is cj and ge. i am going to get it mixed up. i can give it to you later. and the sinaloa cartel. those are the two that are rampant in poppy production and heroin distribution. we work closely with our
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partners and have offices overseas, that we are working on this problem with, where we are hand-in-hand with our partners. when it comes to the darknet, i don't want to get too much in depth, but we do have undercover operations going on the darknet, where we are trying to identify and track the networks. a network is an enterprise and an enterprise is a network, the only thing that changes is there techniques, tactics and procedures. that is what changes. we have had to evolve with them to help track that. as for how that helps, it is essential today. it is absolutely essential. because these products do not emanate from the u.s. we have seen minor attempts here, but these products are emanating from other countries, as we discussed earlier.
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i think pressure on these countries to work together and go further than that is going to be very important. i will tell you, from a nonpolitical position, a career position, we have an attorney general right now who we meet with many times per week and he is consistently asking how we are doing with this problem. this is not some political show. this is very near and dear to his heart. it expands to other parts of government and interagency's, which is very important, for how this problem is emphasized. our focus on the transnational site is working with those partners that i mentioned earlier, mexico, china, some of the central american countries and others, to ensure that we have the best relationships we
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can build and that we do ensure that everybody understands, we all have skin in this game. sometimes those will or that is why everyone here says
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the do divisions we have in it goes down. let me ask one final question we are running short on time so i will ask each of you to address this in about a minute or so. but is i mentioned earlier, the attorney general announced the script and mitigation task force and we are conducting a lot of work. and what would be the purpose of data analytics, brian mentioned in his comments. but if you would discuss briefly how you employ analytics and how they are useful to them -- solving this crisis. i think people are familiar with how they are used to fight crime but now we are taking some of those tactics and adapting them into the opioid crisis. why do we start justin with you. >> we are avid consumers of data at our us attorney's
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office and we are very fortunate, if you want to use this to your advantage, you really need to have somebody who not only understands the data but just loves to look at it. so we have that person, she is actually a civil usa in our office. and she lives and breathes the data. and she interpreted in such a way that is meaningful for us. but it is critical for us to not only identify targets out of the data but also understand some what made look like to you and outlier for some reason there are legitimate explanation sometimes for why someone would be an outlier on the data but if you have someone who is proficient with the data is knowledgeable and conversant in the data and can explain it to people who are less so that access like myself, you are absolutely doing what we need to do at the directive of the attorney general which is identified to people the people that are really driving the crisis in the wrong direction and come up with a strategy. >> so in the criminal division
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and, i would echo everything justin just said, we have a particular team in the broad section led by wonderful woman named naomi at anaya. and she takes all of this data and it's across the board it's medicare, medicaid, prescriber data. it's data on opioid deaths connected to particular physicians. i mean, it's really a soup pot of data. and naomi takes it and analyzes it and is able to look district by district across the country and produces, based on that data targeting packages for the us attorney's office, which allows us to become much more efficient in the use of our prosecutorial and investigative resources. as we have this data that tells us where to look. i think justin's point is a good one, sometimes it also tells us where this might be the right place to look where it might look like the right place to look but it really
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isn't. the level of efficiency we are able to bring to bear in the use of our resources which then leads to quicker investigations, quicker indictments, weaker prosecutions and quicker pleas. there was an example of one doctor who was selling opioid prescriptions to medicare patients for about $200 her prescription. and from the time we investigated to the time of his sentencing was 10 months, he got 97 months in prison for the amount of opioids he put on the street, it took us less than 10 months to go from identifying him to getting him sentenced and locked up. and it is the data that allows us to do that. >> i will give you a high level answer on the data analysis and essentially we are hiring more and more data analysis sciences. and we recognize the inflow of data and the ability to digest
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consume and disseminate what is necessarily that comes out of that. it is almost undoable right now, it's almost unsustainable, so we are trying to hire more more folks with that skill set. the second thing is, we search for clusters in working with our state and local partners, so we'll often times deploy our intelligence analyst out into this date in local venues and have them work together with them. i think it's important to recognize the state and local propers between 18,000 and 19,000 police officers out there. we think about the nypd's and the lapd's but there are a lot of small departments that have clusters in their areas that are not well prepared or resourced to address it. that's how we will bring on those resources and try to identify clusters and work with them with the dea and with our partners to address that issue. and if i might, i would say searching for the anomalies, particularly on the healthcare fronts. this is where you will,
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identify some of these positions that are abusing their licenses and are abusing quite frankly their control over these narcotics. so, i was recently presented with a case down south where an individual walked into a doctor's office. the doctor look at him literally for about 30 seconds and he said you have neck pain, right? and the guy said yeah. and he said we have got to be careful. that doctor was doing this fourth thousands of people. now the vast majority of these professionals are incredibly diligent and doing the right thing for society, but there are abusers out there and the data allows us to identify those anomalies and then attack them. and then ultimately, we hold them accountable. >> thank you, now on the administrative side, when would you use data analytics?
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>> we look at for example a pharmacy and where people are coming from to get their prescriptions filled. and you might see a rural pharmacy or a pharmacy that is not located in a heavily populated area. and you will see people traveling hundreds of miles for hours to get to that pharmacy. why would anybody travel that far? the answer is, that tells us that that pharmacy is very friendly to certain folks who have certain types of prescriptions or maybe don't have prescriptions at all. so that's just one of the ways that we use data to identify those folks who are registered by the dea who are improperly distributing prescription drugs. >> thank you very much. i want to thank this panel. i would just note, you're looking at four people up here who are the front lines addressing this crisis but they are really representing the hundreds of people that work for them that are getting up every day and thinking about
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how we meet the challenge, the president and the attorney general have set for the department, which is to drive the death down. i know people here in the audience and at home are watching the streaming argument so thanks to all of you and fox 2 all of the men and women of law informant digest enforcement that you represent. [ applause ] >> this weekend, c-span cities tour takes you to lawrence kansas. >> lawrence was founded on a principle and it was founded in conflict. for those who know about bleeding kansas, it was the beginning of the civil war but
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it started before the civil war. around 1850s. and it drew a lot of people in on both sides of the slavery issue. lawrence was burned in 1856 because it was the headquarters of the free state movement. on saturday you will hear from local authors as we hear about the history of lawrence. and then sunday it two p.m. on america's three tv you will hear about local historic sites and the robert dole museum to hear about the life of this long serving senator from the state. the c-span cities tour in cooperation with our cable partners around the country exploring the american story. coming up at 9:30 a.m. eastern, discussion with white house john bolton, on the trump administration's new africa strategy. live coverage from the heritage foundation, here

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