National Crime Prevention Council calls on Justice Department to investigate Snapchat and fentanyl deaths

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Crime Prevention Council called on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the business practices of Snap, Inc. as the platform of choice for fentanyl drug dealers.

“Drug dealers are using American innovation to sell lethal products,” wrote Paul DelPonte, Executive Director of NCPC in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. “Time is of the essence. In about the same amount of time it takes to read this letter, someone will die from fentanyl poisoning because they purchased a fake pill on a social media platform like Snapchat.”

Snap, Inc. has drawn the ire of family members, law enforcement, community groups, and others for failing to cramp down on known drug dealers using their platform to sell fake pills laced with lethal doses of fentanyl. Two milligrams—about the size of a few grains of sugar—are enough to kill the average teenager. Fake pills containing the lethal substance are typical sold for less than $25.00 by dealers using the platform. Fentanyl is involved in 84 percent of overdose deaths for teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company uses encrypted technology that makes it easy for drug dealer to evade arrest and prosecution and has spent heavily on public relations related to opioid addiction instead of making substantial changes to its platform. Recently, Snap has falsely attributed claims to the Drug Enforcement Administration about how the company is helping stop fentanyl deaths. When asked about such news reports, the DEA had no knowledge to substantiate the company’s unverified assertions. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram has publicly been critical of Snapchat.

“The sale of drugs on Snapchat violates multiple laws related to narcotics, trade, copyrights, trademarks, and other felonies,” said DelPonte. “An investigation into its business practices is long overdue.”

In honor of the lives lost by a fake pull purchased online, NCPC launched the Lives Project, a digital remembrance quilt.

NCPC, home of McGruff the Crime Dog®, works to stop crime before it happens. Learn more at and Follow McGruff on social media @McGruffatNCPC.

Contact: Noah Mutterperl | | (703)-475-8784

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SOURCE National Crime Prevention Council

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