“Last year, opioids killed more Americans than guns. In Virginia alone, 1,000 perished from this epidemic. The opioid crisis is not isolated to our rural communities; the entire Commonwealth is in the midst of a health emergency. As a federal prosecutor, I led a historic fight against the opioid plague—and ground zero was Northern Virginia. Virginia must lead the way in fighting this epidemic, but our fight must include smart prevention, tough enforcement, and compassion for those in recovery.”
From 2001-16 as an Assistant United States Attorney in Alexandria, Gene led Operation Cotton Candy--the largest federal investigation ever to address the opioid epidemic. This Operation helped secure over 200 convictions of unscrupulous pain doctors, pharmacists, health professionals, and drug dealers. Gene's most prominent conviction involved his Alexandria trials against Dr. William Hurwitz, who ran a nationally renowned pill mill in McLean, Virginia and who once issued a prescription for 1,200 pain pills per day! Hollywood documentary "Dr. Feelgood" chronicles Operation Cotton Candy and his trials.
Gene knows that we cannot arrest our way out of this epidemic. Addiction is a disease. And mass incarceration is not the cure. We must have a balanced three-prong approach to this epidemic that focuses on prevention, enforcement, and most important, recovery. He’ll build on the successful steps of Governor McAuliffe, Lt. Governor Northam, and Attorney General Herring to tackle this public health emergency--and bring innovative new solutions incorporating all three components.