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Designate Drug Cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations Urges Attorney General Jeff Landry to Joe Biden

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry joined Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and 19 other state attorneys general in calling on President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under federal law. Attorney General Landry and his colleagues noted that taking this federal action would free up resources to confront the deadly opioid crisis with the seriousness it deserves.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc across our State, leaving too many Louisiana families broken by the bonds of addiction and devastated by overdose deaths,” said Attorney General Landry. “Fatal synthetic opioid overdoses increased by 117% in Louisiana from 2019 to 2020, and the numbers unfortunately have kept rising.”

The opioid crisis has affected every state, county, city, town, and community in the United States. Last year, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses – and synthetic opioids like fentanyl were responsible for more than half.

In his request to the President, Attorney General Landry explained that the U.S. Government knows precisely how this poison is entering our country. Cartels like the Sinaloa cartel and Cartel Jalisco New Generation import raw materials from China, use them to produce deadly synthetic opioids at low cost, and traffic those poisons across the southwestern border and into our communities.

Once present in the United States, the cartel networks are making counterfeit prescription drugs and sell them for an enormous profit to unsuspecting users who may not even know they are ingesting fentanyl. These are some of the most deadly drugs our country has ever seen.

Between October 2021 and June 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 8,425 pounds of fentanyl smuggled into the United States. But vast quantities of this lethal drug evade federal agents and make their way into our communities. These cartels are doing much more than just smuggling poison into the United States. They are assassinating rivals and government officials, ambushing and killing Americans at the border, and engaging in an armed insurgency against the Mexican Government.

“Designating major cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations will give law enforcement more authority to freeze cartel assets, deny entry to cartel members, and allow prosecutors to pursue stricter punishments against those who provide material support to cartels,” explained Attorney General Landry. “I hope the Biden Administration will heed our call and do more to shut down these killers.”


Joining Attorneys General Landry and Miyares on the letter were their colleagues from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.