Bisbee, Arizona: U.S. Senate candidate Matt Dolan, along with members of Ohio law enforcement, visited the United States Border with Mexico this week to get an on-the-ground briefing about the current crisis confronting local, state and federal authorities. Dolan was joined by Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno and Union County Sheriff Malcum “Jamie” Patton for a status briefing, SABRE border tour and Cochise County Sheriff’s Office ride along inside the Tucson Sector, one of the busiest sectors of the country in both illegal alien apprehension and narcotic seizures.
“The facts prove, beyond any doubt, that the China-backed cartels are exploiting chaos at the border to overwhelm enforcement resources, place migrants in peril, traffic deadly narcotics and bring criminals into the United States. Every day, bombs disguised as drugs are smuggled across an open border, making fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction that is leaving a trail of crime and human misery across America. Sherrod Brown claims he doesn’t hear about the border crisis, yet it’s painfully clear from Tucson Sector that the Biden Administration’s failed policies undermine the rule of law, compromise America’s national security and turn Ohio into a veritable border state. In the U.S. Senate, I will work to enhance border security to restrain the flow of human trafficking and drugs into America by completing construction of President Trump’s Border Wall, improving enforcement technology and providing federal authorities with the resources they need. I will again work to designate the China-backed cartels in Mexico as terrorist organizations and advance domestic and international priorities that crack down on the manufacturing and distribution of illicit fentanyl,” said Matt Dolan.
“In February, my office took part in one of the largest fentanyl drug busts in state history. Working with federal and state authorities, our SWAT team and our technology was used to seize enough fentanyl in northeast Ohio to kill 20 million Americans. Matt Dolan not only understands the threat posed by the open southern border, but I am confident that having his experience and solutions-focused approach in the U.S. Senate will help to protect Ohioans from the scourge of fentanyl,” said Lake County Sheriff Frank Leonbruno. Sheriff Leonbruno has been with the Sheriff’s office for 34 years.
“Ohio suffers from a set of clear challenges in crime, addiction and mental health that are a result of the fact that our southern border remains unsecured. Matt Dolan has record of prosecuting violent criminals and drug dealers to keep Ohioans safe. His experience and record as a legislator make him uniquely suited to restore the rule of law, support Ohio law enforcement and protect America in the U.S. Senate,” said Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton. Patton is a 33-year veteran of the Sheriff’s office.
In February 2023, more than 80 pounds of fentanyl were seized in Cleveland and Painsville, Ohio, making it one of the largest busts in state history. The fentanyl had a street value of $5.2 million and was enough to kill 20 million people, if ingested. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the drugs were supplied by a nationwide distribution network based out of Mexico. The FBI, State, and local partners including the Lake County Sheriff’s office, took part in the operation which also yielded the arrest of two of the organization’s operatives and seized four firearms, including two assault rifles.
In a December interview with NBC News, Senator Sherrod Brown said, “I don’t hear a lot about immigration from voters except from people on the far-right.” Customs and Border Protection data from November of 2022 showed 233,740 migrants were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, the highest November total in history and a 332% increase from the November apprehensions during the Trump administration. More than 13,000 of the apprehended migrants were unaccompanied children.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, approximately 76 percent of overdose deaths in Ohio are caused by fentanyl that is coming from China to Mexico and over the border into the United States. That percentage was up from 73 percent in 2018, 71 percent in 2017, and 58 percent in 2016.
In 2021, there was a record amount of fentanyl seizures on our southern border. In some locations, the U.S. Border Patrol, is seeing a 4,000% increase in fentanyl seizures over the last three years.
In July 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that he would dispatch the Ohio Army National Guard to Texas to assist federal operations at the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Also in July 2021, it was announced that Ohio would be sending Ohio Highway Patrol to supplement the National Guard presence on the southern border.
The following outlines Senator Matt Dolan’s work to in the State Senate to urge action on securing the border and address the present fentanyl and human trafficking crises impacting Ohio.
- Dolan voted to designate the Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.
- Dolan voted to urge the federal government to increase efforts to protect our border to combat drug and human smuggling in the United States.
- Dolan increased penalties for drug trafficking and some other drug offenses when the drug involved is a fentanyl-related compound.
- Dolan voted to define “fentanyl-related compound” as including fentanyl and other related Schedule I and Schedule II narcotics-opiates.
- Dolan fought and helped to provide $180 million in additional funding for the opiate crisis, on top of the nearly $1 billion already spent by the state annually on drug abuse and addiction.
- Dolan helped to stablish opioid abuse prevention programs for educators and school personnel for all content areas and grade levels.
- Dolan voted for nonviolent offenders to receive competency evaluations in outpatient settings, ensuring state psychiatric hospital beds remain available for Ohioans suffering from serious mental illness.
- Dolan voted for enhanced penalties for drug traffickers who sell on the premises or near addiction service providers.
Learn more about Dolan’s campaign for U.S. Senate at www.dolanforohio.com.