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Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Susan Collins received a briefing from Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram on efforts to address illegal Chinese marijuana operations, combat the opioid epidemic, and fight the rise of crystal meth use in Maine.
“No community is immune from the opioid epidemic, and I commend the men and women of the DEA for their work to combat illicit opioid trafficking and distribution. While we continue to target deadly opioids, we must not lose sight of the need to protect our communities from other emerging threats. The significant increase of crystal meth seizures in Maine – from 3 kilograms in 2021 to 72 kilograms in 2022 – is incredibly shocking,” said Senator Collins. “Administrator Milgram and I also discussed the recent reporting on the illegal Chinese marijuana growing operations in Maine and the potential harm they pose to our public health and national security. We must put an end to these criminal enterprises that are flooding our State and infiltrating our rural communities. I will continue to push the Department of Justice, including the DEA, to work with state and local law enforcement and shut down these illegal operations.”
In August, Senator Collins and the Maine Delegation wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting information on what the Department of Justice is doing to shut down these illegal Chinese marijuana growing operations. Following an investigation by Maine Wire that uncovered more than 100 foreign-owned drug houses throughout rural Maine earlier this month, Senator Collins renewed her call for federal action.