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Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Criminal Division Delivers Remarks on Operation Dark HunTor


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Prepared

Operation Dark HunTor stands as our most recent victory in the global fight against cyber-enabled drug trafficking.  The online trafficking of opioids, particularly fentanyl, poses a lethal threat to not only the United States, but also to our European and Australian counterparts, and beyond. This is a global threat that requires a global response. Our communities now face the constant threat of relatively easy access to dangerous illicit drugs now being peddled not on a street corner but in cyber space. Operation Dark HunTor highlights both the magnitude of this lethal threat, and the significant efforts we are taking at the Department of Justice to address it. 

I am proud to stand before you today, proclaiming that the Department of Justice is fully engaged in the battle against drug traffickers utilizing the Internet to send poison into our communities.     

In particular, I want to thank the men and women of the Criminal Division and applaud their bilateral commitment with our European and Australian counterparts. 

Thank you to the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, including its Trial Attorneys stationed at the Special Operations Division, and the multitude of law enforcement agents assigned there and at the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) task force, who tirelessly ensured that the investigations making up this operation were supported, coordinated, de-conflicted, and integrated to ensure success; to the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, who ensured that through mutual legal assistance, the United States was able to further this investigation through the use of data lawfully seized by Germany to the attorneys from the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s Digital Currency Initiative, who offered their expertise, consultation and support in these complex and time-consuming investigations and prosecutions making up Operation Dark HunTor; to our Fraud Section, who joined forces with our U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee in prosecuting one of the Dark HunTor matters; and last, but certainly not least, to the over one dozen U.S. Attorney’s Offices that are handling prosecutions.

It is clear to me that only through a “whole of government” and, in this case, global approach to tackling cyber-enabled drug trafficking can we hope to achieve the significant results illustrated in today’s announcement. Consistent, coordinated and collaborative bilateral engagement efforts are the key to the success you see here today. 

The men and women of the department’s Criminal Division, in close collaboration with our team of interagency and international partners, stand ready to leverage all our resources to protect our communities through the undaunted pursuit of those who profit from addiction, under the false belief that they are anonymous on the Darknet.

I now welcome my colleague FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate.

Updated October 26, 2021