Dear Senator Markey,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our strong support for your bill, S. 2323, the “Screening All Fentanyl-Enhanced (SAFE) Mail Act.”
Synthetic fentanyl is cheaper than normal opioids and it is 50 times more deadly than heroin, and 50 to l 00 times stronger than morphine. Depending on the method of administration and other factors, as little as 2 milligrams of illicit fentanyl-similar in size to just a few grains of salt-can be fatal. According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 32,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids-largely fentanyl-occurred in the United States already in 2019.
The internet has significantly increased the availability of illicit fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids in the United States. Most illicit fentanyl is trafficked into the United States from China through international mail accepted and delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS), and through packages accepted and delivered by express consignment operators such as FedEx. While CBP inspects mail and express cargo arriving in the United States and seizes illegal goods, including those that may pose threats to health and safety in the United States; the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is able to screen only a fraction of all inbound international mail and express cargo.
This legislation will save potentially thousands of lives in the United States by utilizing technology developed by the Opioid Detection Challenge in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and by requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to work with CBP, the USPS and other government agencies and private sector companies to deploy automated, non-intrusive screening technology within 5 years of enactment. This technology will be used to scan 100% of all international mail and express cargo from high-risk countries for illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. This bill will help stem the flow of these substances into the United States through increased detection and interception of inbound international mail and express cargo ensuring that there is not unreasonable delay in the delivery of mail and express cargo.
On behalf of the more than 349,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. Ifl can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Executive Director, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.