Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) released the Strategy for Combating Illicit Opioids, an intelligence-driven approach to disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations and keeping dangerous substances, like illicit fentanyl driving the overdose epidemic, off America’s streets. To advance President Biden’s Unity Agenda Strategy to beat the overdose epidemic, DHS is working with partners at every level of government to stop the illicit flow of fentanyl into the country, including through various surge campaigns launched this year.
DHS S&T is working with vendors and manufacturers of portable drug detectors to improve their ability to identify different narcotics, like fentanyl.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T) Opioid Trafficking Intelligence and Investigation Project provides research and development (R&D) support for improved investigative capabilities to aid in the confident discovery, identification, and disruption of illicit drug networks responsible for opioid smuggling. The project will include training on investigative processes for law enforcement partners and advanced analytic approaches to facilitate analysis of evidence, data fusion, and information sharing that enables automated discovery of high value targets and criminal associations. Project outputs will be integrated into HSI's existing suite of investigative capabilities, to support
prosecution as well as collaboration efforts in furtherance of interdiction and disruption of the opioid supply chain.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Opioid/Fentanyl Detection Program, in collaboration with the S&T Office of Standards, is funding the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to build spectral reference libraries of approximately 50 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restricted substances. including fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and other emerging illicit drugs. Through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with industry partners, PNNL will collect reference spectra on 20 different field portable detectors currently deployed for operational use.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Opioid Program is working with HSI and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) to develop novel software applications that can be integrated with HSI’s Repository for Analytics in a Virtualized Environment (RAVEN) platform. This cloud-based platform enables users to perform analytics across datasets using a suite of search, analytical, and reporting tools. RAVEN serves as a central point to gather and conduct analyses across seemingly disparate datasets, replacing a largely manual process. This collaborative effort will apply advanced analytical approaches, like artificial intelligence and machine learning, to better recognize patterns in data and enhance investigators’ effectiveness.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has developed this Master Question List (MQL) to serve two primary objectives:
- Response communities: Provide a simple interface of consolidated, scientifically vetted information in the context of daily operations.
- Research and development communities: Highlight the remaining critical knowledge gaps to focus investments with high operational priority and utility.
The newly published standards will be put into effect almost immediately through a S&T-led research and development effort with PNNL.
S&T’s Opioid/Fentanyl Detection program is developing and evaluating advanced detection technologies and analytics to better target, interdict, and investigate illicit opioid and other narcotic smuggling into the U.S.