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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald Statement On Pending Expiration Of Emergency Prohibition Of Fentanyl Analogues

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

“At midnight on February 6, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s temporary emergency prohibition of fentanyl analogues will expire, unless Congress acts to extend it. Fentanyl and its analogues are highly potent and extremely lethal. Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, poses a significant threat to public safety, even a very small quantity can cause a fatal overdose. The DEA’s temporary emergency prohibition has served as a critical tool for law enforcement, allowing us to more effectively combat the illegal trafficking of these deadly substances, but it is only temporary. If the temporary emergency prohibition expires on February 6, the criminals trafficking in fentanyl analogues will operate with impunity and the lives of Minnesotans will be put at risk. My job as United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota is to keep individuals, families and communities safe; therefore, I implore Congress to act now and pass permanent legislation. American lives depend on it.”


Background:  In an effort to combat this deadly drug epidemic, DEA issued a temporary emergency two-year order in February 2018 that made all fentanyl-related substances illegal. Our country has seen a marked supply impact from DEA’s temporary scheduling of fentanyl-related substances during the past two years, with a 50 percent decrease in fentanyl-related substances encountered across the United States. However, DEA’s emergency authority expires at midnight on February 6, 2020, unless Congress acts to extend it.




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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Updated January 28, 2020

Drug Trafficking