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Opioids

“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 ​le​d​ ​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.