*From Press Release*

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined his counterparts in 21 states in calling for the Biden administration to declare Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). A press release from his office quotes Morrisey as saying, “This administration needs to call these organizations what they really are: terrorists,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The Mexican drug cartels are using fear, intimidation and violence to further their foothold in the illicit drug trade.” “How many more senseless deaths have to happen before Biden acts?” This new call follows a push by Attorney General Morrisey and 17 other attorneys general for the President to classify fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction. “Designating the cartels as FTOs will give state and federal law enforcement agencies increased powers to freeze cartel assets, deny entry and/or visas to cartel members and allow prosecutors to pursue tougher punishments against those who provide material support to the cartels,” the coalition wrote in a letter to Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Statistics show that drug overdoses have killed more than 100,000 Americans over the past year—66% of those deaths were related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl is now the No. 1 killer of adults aged 18-45, according to the AG’s office. “This deadly synthetic opioid is mainly being funneled through our unprotected southern border—Chinese chemical manufacturers are making and sending the raw ingredients to make fentanyl to Mexican drug cartels, which are in turn making and trafficking fentanyl on an industrial scale,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “But in the face of this evolving and significant problem, the federal government has seemed content to stand by. This is a matter of life or death, and we need to treat it as such.”According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Mexican drug cartels “import dangerous, raw materials from China, use them to produce deadly synthetic opioids at low cost, and unlawfully transport those opioids into the United States.”Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat the U.S. has ever faced, according to the DEA.“The same cartels who produce and traffic this dangerous chemical are also assassinating rivals and government officials, ambushing and killing Americans at the border and engaging in an armed insurgency against the Mexican government,” the attorneys general wrote. “This dangerous terrorist activity occurring at our southwestern land border will not be abated without an escalation in our response.” Attorney General Morrisey joined this Virginia-led letter with Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.