Fentanyl Analogues: Investigation and Prosecution in the New World
Date & Time
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Johnny Paul "J.P." Moseley, Resident Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations - Texarkana
M.J. Menendez, JD, National Opioid Coordinator, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, U.S. Department of Justice
Barry Logan, PhD, F-ABFT, Sr. Vice President of Forensic Science Initiatives, Chief Scientist, NMS Labs
Moderator: Rita Noonan, PhD, Branch Chief, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CE Certified by: AAFP, GA Bar, GA POST
The rapid evolution of fentanyl analogues necessitates that the related deaths be understood in the context of fentanyl supply, importation and structure. Importation of fentanyl analogues through express shipping and direct mail is a contributory factor in many such deaths, and the linkage of distribution networks and chains to the resultant deaths from fentanyl deliveries presents opportunity to leverage efforts to dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking organizations. This session will equip law enforcement and prosecutors to target the dealers that knowingly distribute opioids causing death.
From Homeland Security Investigations, participants will gain understanding of the fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, counterfeit pills and other harmful substances entering through the ports of entry. They will learn methodologies for monitoring, assessing and attacking such threats, in an unclassified, non-law enforcement sensitive setting.
An Assistant U.S. Attorney will present on federal prosecutions under the Burrage v. United States “but for causation” standard, and how that standard has required integration between science and law in novel fashions to achieve such prosecutions. This will include a “checklist” for investigative thoroughness, as well as prosecution hurdles, such as poly-drug overdose and post-mortem identification challenges inherent in the ever-changing world of fentanyl analogues. The presenter will explain how information gleaned in federal and state investigations can be shared among state and federal agencies to contribute to dismantlement and disruption of drug trafficking organizations.
A forensic toxicologist will discuss the importance of rapid identification of fentanyl analogues in his toxicology work with the medical examiner community, highlighting a particular identification instance that led to federal and state partnership and success. He also will overview the challenges presented by the evolution of fentanyl analogues, highlighting the number of fentanyl analogues in existence and how the challenges in identification provide hurdles to be overcome in investigation and prosecution. Participants will gain insight into a unique partnership among federal agencies and NMS Labs, which is valuable to the whole-government approach to address the fentanyl epidemic.
UPON COMPLETION OF THIS COURSE, PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ABLE TO:
- Recognize the challenges presented by the rapid evolution of fentanyl analogues.
- Identify approaches to investigate and prosecute fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other opioids causing serious bodily injury or death.
- Use more complex methodologies and systems to build complex investigations and partnerships to dismantle and disrupt major fentanyl analogue distribution rings operating in the United States.
- Describe a partnership among federal agencies and a lab that is responding to the fentanyl epidemic.