November 9, 2017 / 6:30 PM / a month ago

U.S. drug agency to toughen stance on illicit fentanyl

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced on Thursday it will schedule all illicit versions of fentanyl on an emergency basis, making it easier for prosecutors to go after criminals who try to circumvent the law by manipulating the chemical structure of opioid drugs.

The Justice Department said that once the DEA’s new order takes effect, anyone who possesses, imports, distributes or manufacturers any illicit fentanyl analogues will be subject to criminal prosecution.

Analogues are drugs that are chemically similar to another drug.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Susan Thomas

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