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Sessions Outlines Actions to Fight Opioid Epidemic

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gestures during a news conference at the Moakley Federal Building in Boston, July 26, 2018.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the U.S. Justice Department is determined to break the opioid epidemic’s “grip of death and destruction” on the nation.

During an appearance in Cleveland Wednesday, Sessions outlined three actions taken by law enforcement authorities toward that goal, including the country’s first-ever civil injunction that has barred two Ohio doctors from prescribing drugs.

The civil injunction was filed last week against the tow doctors based in northern Ohio. Prosecutors said one of the doctors advertised his services at gyms and directly sold opioids and steroids to undercover agents. The second physician is accused of selling opioids and other prescription drugs and taking $175,000 in illegal kickbacks from a manufacturer of liquid fentanyl that’s used to treat cancer patients.

Sessions also announced 43-count indictment filed against a Chinese father and son who live in Shanghai. They are accused of manufacturing and shipping 250 types of synthetic narcotics around the world. The pair is accused of using shell companies to send drugs to customers in 25 countries and 37 U.S. states.

Drugs shipped by the two were found to be directly responsible for two overdose deaths in Akron, Ohio. The pair also sold fake drugs, including cancer medication that was actually bath salts, the attorney general said.

Sessions also announced a successful undercover sting, “Operation Darkness Falls,” that nabbed several people for selling fentanyl and other drugs on the Dark Web. Several of those defendants are Ohio residents.

All three cases are being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland.