Notes prepared for delivery.
Hello. My name is Aaron Tapp, and I’m the Acting Deputy Deputy Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division.
I am honored to be here this morning to join our partners at the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and Drug Enforcement Administration to announce training and support from the FBI to New England. Prescription Opioid Strike Force or NEPO. I would venture to guess that there probably isn’t a single person in this room who hasn’t been personally affected by the opioid epidemic in this country or who knows someone who has been personally affected by this one. This issue is personal to me, as members of my own family have been tragically affected by this outbreak.
You’ve heard the statistics here today. In the last year alone, more than 75,000 people in the United States lost their lives due to an opioid overdose. Think about it. That’s almost double the population of the city of Concord.
This crisis does not discriminate, impacting young and old, rich and poor, our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers, our mothers and fathers.
And he does it with devastating and relentless force.
Communities across the country and in this community have felt the impact of this force and suffered the devastating loss of life that so often accompanies it. So we need to match strength with even greater strength, and strength and momentum that can only be generated through shared engagement and collaboration, like what you see here today.
Our goal is not only to help those who are already in the grip of addiction, but also to help prevent others from getting there.
As Assistant Attorney General Polite said, the NEPO Strike Force will help address one of the root causes of the opioid epidemic, the illegal prescribing and diversion of opioids by healthcare professionals. corrupt and others.
The NEPO Strike Force will investigate all healthcare fraud schemes in the New England area and seek to identify healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others who engage in criminal acts.
The Strike Force will focus on healthcare professionals who value profits more than the well-being of their patients. Simply put, the NEPO Strike Force will seek to eradicate medical professionals who profit from the addiction of your families and neighbors.
We’ve made a lot of progress nationally, but we still have a long way to go. The formation of this task force underscores the FBI’s commitment to doing whatever it takes to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic across the country.
Thank you to all law enforcement agencies, the Department of Justice, and United States Attorneys from New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont who are here today for their commitment to working collectively to achieve justice. to those who illegally prescribe drugs and profit from them. out of addiction.
Finally, as this task force effort begins, we need your help. Many of you know which doctors are over-prescribing opioids in your community, and in doing so, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.
You can make a difference by partnering with us. Please call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI or reach us online at tips.fbi.gov to report the diversion of prescription opioids in your community.
The FBI is ready, willing, and able to work with our law enforcement partners in the NEPO Strike Force to protect this community from the destructive effects of healthcare fraud and opioid diversion. on prescription.