State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) applauds the Senate’s unanimous passage of House Concurrent Resolution 10, which urges the federal government to designate cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

“By designating cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, the federal government would have at its disposal- enhanced intelligence capabilities, the ability to freeze financial assets of the cartels, and if necessary, enhanced military options - such as equipment, assets, and personnel,” said Wiggam.

He said that in recent years, the state of Ohio has spent $1 billion annually fighting the opioid on the back end. It’s time, Wiggam added, to increase the fight on the frontlines as well.

Ohio sits at the epicenter of a national opioid crisis. Recently, law enforcement officials have seized enough fentanyl to kill half of the citizens of Ohio. Each of these drug seizures had direct connections to trans-national criminal organizations. For example, in the past 12 months alone, cartel-linked drug trafficking has been running rampant in Ohio’s major cities and we all need to focus our attention on this alarming influx of lethal narcotics into our State’s borders.

In July 2018, there was a seizure of 15.5 lbs. of fentanyl linked to a satellite operation of the Ramirez cartel located in Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Additionally, in October 2018, a man was a Middletown man was arrested who was known to be the ring-leader of a local fentanyl operation with ties to the Sinaloa cartel. 

This resolution expresses the desire of the State of Ohio to have the Federal Government designate transnational cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations pursuant to 8 USC 1189, to allow the government of the United States to use appropriate means to eliminate and/or mitigate the operations of these organizations which have such a profound negative impact upon the wellbeing of our citizens.

“The drug crisis is impacting communities across Ohio, stretching local law enforcement, our first responders, children services and more to the limit,” Wiggam said. “I am very pleased to see this legislation adopted by both chambers of the General Assembly to help combat and protect our communities from this epidemic.”

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