Department of Justice announces ‘Operation Darkness Falls’ program to fight opioid trafficking

Department of Justice announces 'Operation Darkness Falls' program to fight opioid trafficking

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions and several members of the U.S Justice Department were in Cleveland discussing the deadly opioid epidemic.

Sessions and several Senior Department Officials traveled to discuss their efforts.

Their solution: "Operation Darkness Falls"

The program will be a joint operation, targeting people and organizations that sell fentanyl and other drugs across the dark net.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was confident that the program will make changes.

On March 19, President Trump announced the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand. The initiative seeks to "reduce the over-prescription of opioids which has the potential to lead Americans down a path to addiction or facilitate diversion to illicit use."

Wednesday's announcement doubled down on that claim.

"Today's announcements are a warning to every trafficker, every crooked doctor or pharmacist, and every drug company, every chairman and foreign national and company that puts greed before the lives and health of the American people: this Justice Department will use civil and criminal penalties alike and we will find you, put you in jail, or make you pay."

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions

One husband and wife in particular, The Roberts', used private messaging, encryption software to provide security for their criminal organization, MH4Life.

Matthew and Holly Roberts, both 35, used decoys, such as glow bracelets and other mundane items, to hide the fact they were mailing narcotics.

The press conference was held at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office, 727 people in the county died because of an opioid overdose.

In 2016, the county had 666 drug overdose deaths which means from 2016 to 2017 there was a 9 percent increase.

In 2015, 307 people died from overdoses, which represents and 80 percent increase from 2015 to 2016.

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