Chairman Cook on the hearing: “The opioid crisis is a reminder of the importance of U.S. counternarcotics efforts in the Western Hemisphere. One critical aspect of this effort is with the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Through this law, the U.S. employs sanctions programs targeting major international drug traffickers. It has recently been used against Venezuelan government officials and Mexican drug cartel operatives. This hearing will examine the impact and effectiveness of the Kingpin Act and consider how to improve U.S. counternarcotics sanctions in the Western Hemisphere. Stopping drug trafficking is a priority for the United States, and as the new Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I will be looking to foster deeper security cooperation on this critical issue.”

Opening Statements


Mr. Donald C. Semesky Jr.
(Former Chief, Office of Financial Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration)
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. David Hall
Wiggin and Dana LLP
(Former Prosecutor, U.S. Department of Justice)
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Eric L. Olson
Deputy Director
Latin American Program
Woodrow Wilson Center
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]


Hearing transcript (PDF)