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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Pittsburgh on Monday to announce a new resource to allow federal agents to go after online drug traffickers.
It’s called J-CODE. It stands for Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team.
According to Sessions, it’s going to allow FBI offices to coordinator to target and disrupt the sale of synthetic opioids on the Darknet.
“A lot of criminals think they are safe online, because they are anonymous. Well, they are in for a rude awakening,” said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Your office here has an impressive Darknet fentanyl working group. Very sophisticated group, one of the leaders in the country, if not the leading office in the country that knows how to work these cases.”
Watch Sessions’ address —
According to Sessions, J-CODE will help federal agents make more arrests for online drug crimes, shut down online market places and ultimately help reduce addiction.
“These drugs are dangerous and once they grab ahold of human beings, it’s just difficult to break that cycle,” Sessions said.
According to the Pennsylvania State Coroner’s Association’s 2016 report on overdose death statistics, four counties in southwestern Pennsylvania had 100 or more drug-related deaths: 648 in Allegheny County, 184 in Westmoreland County, 109 in Washington County and 102 in Beaver County.
“As we all know these are not just numbers, they are moms, dads, daughters, spouses, friends, and neighbors,” Sessions said.
Fentanyl was the most prevalent drug in toxicology reports at 25 percent, followed by heroin at 22 percent and benzodiazepines at 16 percent.
“I believe this new resource will fulfill a need that so far has not been met. I am convinced that this new investment will pay dividends for the people of Pennsylvania,” Sessions said.