Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces Results of J-Code’s First Law Enforcement Operation Targeting Opioid Trafficking on the Darknet

Today, the Department of Justice, FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) announced the results of a four-day long, nationwide law enforcement operation, called Operation Disarray, which targeted vendors and buyers of opioids and cocaine on the Darknet.  This operation was the first coordinated action by the new Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) Team.

These results were announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell.

“Synthetic opioids are responsible for nearly one-third of the unacceptable 64,000 drug overdoses in America in 2016,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “Some of the deadliest drugs can be purchased with a few clicks of a button and ordered online. That’s why I ordered the creation of J-CODE—the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team—back in January.  J-CODE coordinates our efforts to stop online opioid sales, and it is already getting results.  Today, we announce the first nationwide J-CODE operation, one that led to the arrest of alleged traffickers across America. I want to thank all of our law enforcement partners at the FBI, DEA, ATF, our Postal Inspectors, IRS-CI, NCIS, FinCEN and ICE-HSI who helped make this possible, and I want to thank President Trump for his strong support of our efforts. J-CODE is helping us keep deadly drugs out of this great country.”

“Our work to combat drug trafficking has taken us from coast to coast and to the darkest corners of the web.  The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis, and those of us in law enforcement must be relentless in our efforts to disrupt this illicit activity,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray.  “We thank our partners in this operation; through J-CODE, we will continue to work together to target the sale of opioids on the Darknet.”

“The Postal Inspection Service is dedicated to protecting the American public,” said Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell.  “One of the ways we fulfill this mission is by working tirelessly with other law enforcement agencies in operations just like this one to keep dangerous drugs out of the communities we serve.”

During the March 27 to 30 operation, FBI, USPIS, and local law enforcement made eight arrests related to Operation Disarray.  Agents conducted more than 160 interviews nationwide of people who have bought or sold opioids and other drugs online.  Leads from the investigation identified 19 overdose deaths of persons of interest.  FBI, USPIS and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) also executed numerous search warrants, which resulted in the seizure of weapons, drugs, counterfeit currency, and computer equipment.  During the operation, law enforcement agents distributed literature regarding the dangers of opioid abuse, as well as, offered support for those affected by the opioid epidemic.  The investigation is ongoing. 

The J-CODE Team is a new FBI initiative announced by Attorney General Sessions in January 2018, and is aimed at targeting drug trafficking, especially fentanyl and other opioids, on the Darknet.  With this team, the FBI is bringing together agents, analysts, and professional staff with expertise in drugs, gangs, health care fraud, and more, and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners from across the U.S. Government, to focus on disrupting the sale of drugs via the Darknet and dismantling criminal enterprises that facilitate this trafficking.  Operation Disarray is the J-CODE’s first joint, nationwide coordinated operation.

Attorney General Sessions thanked our law enforcement partners on the J-CODE team, to include the FBI, USPIS, Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and the Organized Crime and Gang Section; Drug Enforcement Agency; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Department of Defense; IRS-CI; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for bringing expertise, professionalism and a shared desire to combat this epidemic.  Through continued collaboration and determination the successes J-CODE will continue to forge a positive difference and outcome. 

Updated April 3, 2018