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NEW YORK, N.Y.–The deaths of more than 1,800 Hoosiers last year are being blamed on drug overdoses. The acting attorney general of the United States, Matthew Whitaker, said new laws that govern the way packages are handled when they reach the U.S., may help cut down on OD deaths.

Whitaker spoke to postal workers at JFK Airport, in New York, Wednesday. 

“Just last month Pres. Trump signed into law new legislation that I believe will make you more effective,” he told the postal workers. “Under the new law the Postal Service must share electronic information with CVP about packages coming into the United States.”

The electronic information may help identify packages that contain illegal drugs. Many of the prescription pills like fentanyl, that ended up being a part of overdose deaths, come from foreign sources.

“That information includes where it’s from, where it’s going and what’s in it,” said Whitaker. “That will help law enforcement track suspicious packages, find criminals and it will help prove our cases at trial.”

Whitaker told the postal workers they are the first line of defense, but that they need a strong offense, and that’s where the Dept. of Justice comes in.

“We just don’t stop packages once they get here,” he said. “We want to prevent them from being sent in the first place. By prosecuting traffickers and breaking up the supply chain, our work ultimately will make your work safer and easier.”

Former Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions presided over the first-ever Dept. of Justice Opioid Summit, earlier this fall.

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