Program To Hire Special Assistant United States Attorneys in Targeted Federal Judicial Districts Utilizing Diversion Control Fee Account Funds, 14490-14494 [2017-05396]

Download as PDF 14490 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules Operating Handbook and the Airplane Flight Manual are the same document with the Report No.: 02277. (g) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329–4059; fax: (816) 329– 4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service. (h) Related Information Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2017–0024, dated February 13, 2017, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017–0194. For service information related to this AD, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD., Customer Support PC–12, CH–6371 Stans, Switzerland; phone: +41 41 619 33 33; fax: +41 41 619 73 11; email: SupportPC12@pilatusaircraft.com; Internet: www.pilatusaircraft.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 7, 2017. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2017–05160 Filed 3–20–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS 21 CFR Parts 1301 and 1311 [Docket No. DEA–445N] Program To Hire Special Assistant United States Attorneys in Targeted Federal Judicial Districts Utilizing Diversion Control Fee Account Funds Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Mar 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is proposing a rule that would expand and enhance the enforcement component of the Diversion Control Program (DCP) as previously outlined in the December 30, 1996, Federal Register document ‘‘Registration and Reregistration Application Fees,’’ hereinafter referred to as the 1996 Rule. The 1996 Rule specified six types of investigations involving the diversion of controlled substances, which could be pursued by the DCP utilizing funding from the Diversion Control Fee Account (DCFA). Those investigations included the theft or robbery of pharmaceutical controlled substances, the acquisition of pharmaceutical controlled substances through fraud or deceit, and other illegal diversion activities. The 1996 Rule also authorized the continued use and expansion by the DCP of Tactical Diversion Squads (TDSs), defined as, ‘‘enforcement teams consisting of Federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel fully dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of persons involved in the diversion of controlled substances.’’ DATES: Electronic comments must be submitted, and written comments must be postmarked, on or before April 20, 2017. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment period. ADDRESSES: To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference ‘‘Docket No. DEA–445N’’ on all correspondence, including any attachments. The Drug Enforcement Administration encourages that all comments be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, which provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the Web page or to attach a file for lengthier comments. Please go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions at that site for submitting comments. Upon completion of your submission you will receive a Comment Tracking Number for your comment. Please be aware that submitted comments are not instantaneously available for public view on Regulations.gov. If you have received a Comment Tracking Number, your comment has been successfully submitted and there is no need to resubmit the same comment. Paper comments that duplicate an electronic submission are not necessary and are discouraged. Should you wish to mail a paper comment in lieu of an electronic SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 comment, it should be sent via regular or express mail to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael J. Lewis, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598–6812. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule would expand on the already-recognized investigative activities funded by the DCFA and allow for the hiring of attorneys in support of these activities. The attorneys, hired by DEA and paid with funds from the DCFA, will be detailed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSAs), and will assist in the investigation and prosecution of those diversion crimes outlined in the 1996 Rule, and related civil actions. DCFA-funded SAUSAs in the program would be exclusively engaged in duties which provide investigative and prosecutorial support to federal criminal and related civil diversion investigations conducted by the DEA and its partnering law enforcement agencies. The investigations, and the companion support provided by the attorneys detailed as SAUSAs in this program, will adhere to the guidelines for the use of DCFA funding found in Title 21, United States Code, 821, 822, and 886a; the 1996 Rule, 76 FR 39318, July 6, 2011; and 77 FR 15234, March 15, 2012. In addition, the proposed rule would authorize the SAUSAs hired by DEA and detailed to DOJ to prosecute crimes that are derivative or ancillary criminal violations to the diversion crimes outlined in the 1996 Rule. Examples of these ancillary or derivative crimes would include money laundering or other financial crimes involving the proceeds of diversion activity; firearms and crimes of violence related to or caused by diversion activity; use of a communication facility to commit diversion crimes; and the forfeiture of assets which facilitate or are derived from diversion activity. In addition to protecting the public, the proposed rule will enhance the protections provided to the DEA registrant community by the DCP by ensuring that those engaged in criminal and related civil violations affecting the DEA registrant population are apprehended, and, equally as important, prosecuted. The proposed rule will ensure that illegal activities that E:\FR\FM\21MRP1.SGM 21MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS endanger the safety of registrants and their employees (burglary and robbery of registered locations); threatens the credibility and financial stability of registrants and their employees (prescription forgery, fraud, and theft); and damages the public perception and reputation of the registrant community (prescribing or dispensing outside the course of medical practice and other offenses committed by registrants) will be fully addressed through robust investigation and prosecution. The proposed rule is a continuation of the concepts outlined in ‘‘Controlled Substances and List 1 Chemical Registration and Reregistration Fees,’’ 77 FR 15234 (Mar. 15, 2012), hereinafter referred to as the 2012 Rule. The 2012 Rule provides that ‘‘it is essential to utilize a diverse skilled workforce and constantly review and modify all aspects of the DCP to help successfully execute the drug trafficking disruption goals of the National Drug Control Strategy and effectively prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring a sufficient supply of these substances for legitimate medical purposes.’’ It is in furtherance of that constant review—and modification when necessary—that this rule is proposed. This proposed rule does not request an increase in Registration and Reregistration Fees. Posting of Public Comments Please note that all comments received in response to this docket are considered part of the public record. They will, unless reasonable cause is given, be made available by the Drug Enforcement Administration for public inspection online at http:// www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to all comments received. If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the phrase ‘‘PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION’’ in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also place the personal identifying information you do not want to be made publicly available in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what information you want redacted. If you want to submit confidential business information as part of your comment, but do not want it to be made VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Mar 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 publicly available, you must include the phrase ‘‘CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION’’ in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted within the comment. Comments containing personal identifying information and confidential business information identified as directed above will generally be made publicly available in redacted form. If a comment has so much confidential business information or personal identifying information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be made publicly available. Comments posted to http:// www.regulations.gov may include any personal identifying information (such as name, address, and phone number) or confidential business information included in the text of your electronic submission that is not identified as directed above as confidential. Legal Authority/Diversion Control Fee Account Through the enactment of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, as amended (CSA), Congress has established a closed system of distribution making it unlawful to handle any controlled substance or listed chemical except in a manner authorized by the CSA. In order to maintain this closed system of distribution, the CSA imposes registration requirements on some handlers of controlled substances and list I chemicals.1 21 U.S.C. 822 and 957; 21 CFR 1301.13 and 1309.25. Under the CSA, the DEA is authorized to charge reasonable fees relating to the registration and control of the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, import, and export of controlled substances and listed chemicals.2 21 U.S.C. 821 and 958(f). However, the DEA must set fees at a level that ensures the recovery of the full costs of operating the various aspects of its diversion control program as outlined in 21 U.S.C. 886a. This is known as the Diversion Control Fee Account (DCFA). The diversion control program consists of the controlled substance and chemical diversion control activities of 1 Pursuant to the CSA, certain entities are exempted from registration, from paying the registration fee entirely, or are exempted from the requirement of a separate registration for activities performed as a coincident activity under a registered business activity. 2 The Attorney General delegated authorities under the CSA (found in titles II and III of the Act) to the Administrator of the DEA, who in turn redelegated many of these authorities to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division. 28 CFR 0.100 et seq. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14491 the DEA which are related to the registration and control of the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, importation, and exportation of controlled substances and listed chemicals.3 21 U.S.C. 886a(2). The DCFA is then utilized by the DEA in strict compliance with 21 U.S.C. 821, 822, and 886a; the 1996 Rule; 76 FR 39318, July 6, 2011; the 2012 Rule; as well as all applicable laws, regulations, and DEA policy to establish and implement the DEA registration process; to provide regulatory oversight of DEA registrants; and to prevent, detect, and investigate diversion from the legal channels prescribed by law into illegal channels that violate the CSA. The Tactical Diversion Squad Program As part of the DCP, and pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821 and 886a, and the 1996 Rule, DEA has created Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS) units staffed by DEA Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Task Force Officers (TFOs) 4 and Intelligence Analysts to work collaboratively to investigate the criminal and related civil aspects of the illegal diversion of controlled substances. These illegal practices are outlined in the 1996 Rule and include prescribing or dispensing of controlled substances outside the course of practice, the theft of controlled substances, pharmacy burglary and robbery, prescription forgery and fraud, distribution of diverted controlled substances, and other violations of Federal law related to the diversion of 3 The Diversion Control Division is the strategic focus area within the Administration that carries out the mandates of the CSA to ensure that adequate supplies of controlled substances and listed chemicals are available to meet legitimate domestic medical, scientific, industrial, and export needs. The Diversion Control Division carries out the mission of the DEA to prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of these substances into the illicit drug market. Activities in support of the Diversion Control Division and its mission include: Determination of program priorities; field management oversight; coordination of major investigations; drafting and promulgating regulations; the design and proposal of national legislation; advice and leadership on State legislation/regulatory initiatives; oversight of the importation and exportation of tableting and encapsulating machines, controlled substances, and listed chemicals; establishment of national drug production quotas; activities related to drug scheduling and compliance with international treaty obligations; the design and execution of diplomatic missions; computerized monitoring and tracking of the distribution of certain controlled substances; planning and allocation of program resources; and liaison efforts with industry and their representative associations as well as to the DEA’s regulatory and law enforcement counterparts at the federal, State, tribal, and local levels. 4 A TFO is a sworn officer of a state or local law enforcement agency seconded to DEA and credentialed by DEA as a Federal law enforcement officer. E:\FR\FM\21MRP1.SGM 21MRP1 14492 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS controlled substances. In response to growing drug-related threats, particularly the threats posed by opioid abuse, the DEA has continued to grow the TDS program. Currently, the DEA has staffed 79 TDS groups across the United States to attack the illegal diversion and trafficking of pharmaceuticals. Of particular note, state and local law enforcement agencies have invested 283 of their officers to work as TFOs with the TDS Squads across the United States. These TFOs represent the growing understanding in the law enforcement community of the threat posed by the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs into our society. The TFOs represent a tremendous return on investment for the DCFA as the salaries for these officers are borne by their respective departments, with the DCFA reimbursing the departments for overtime expenses and providing the TFOs with vehicle expenses, travel expenses, and investigative expenses. These groups have been extremely effective in attacking the prescription drug diversion and abuse problem when allied with our critical prosecution partners within the various United States Attorney’s Offices. As the TDS program continues to grow, it is critical that more resources, such as SAUSAs, are available to prosecute these cases when necessary. The DEA’s Special Assistant United States Attorney Pilot Program The United States is currently in the midst of an epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose death. Drug overdose has overtaken deaths from firearms and automobile accidents as the leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury death in the United States.5 In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdoses killed 28,000 people in the United States, with more than half of those deaths caused by prescription opioids. Drug overdose death increased by 11.4% from 2014 to 2015 alone (52,404 deaths to 47,055 deaths).6 Since 1999, the amount of opioid pain medicine prescribed in the United States has quadrupled, with a corresponding rise in the number of deaths from prescription opioids. In addition to the direct harm caused by the abuse of opioid drugs diverted from legitimate use, it is clear that the use and abuse of prescription opioids is a gateway to the use of other illegal substances. For example, more than 5 Centers for Disease Control 2014 Deaths, Final Data Report. 6 Centers for Disease Control, Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths—United States, 2010–2015. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Mar 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 80% of heroin users in the United States used prescription drugs as a gateway to their eventual use of heroin. Additionally, in a 2012 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of emergency room visits for drug related overdose in young adults aged 18 to 25, more than 11% were admitted for misuse/abuse of benzodiazepines; more than were admitted for use of heroin (9.9%), cocaine (8.8%), or methamphetamine (5.6%).7 As indicated above, to answer this drug abuse epidemic, DEA has dedicated increasing resources to the DCP through the expansion of the TDS program, which has resulted in dramatic program growth over the past decade. In 2006, DEA had five TDS groups in operation with only 70 Special Agents dedicated to diversion investigations and funded by the DCFA. By 2016, the number of TDS groups had grown to 79, with 340 Special Agents dedicated to diversion investigations. The prosecution of those responsible for, and engaged in, criminal and related civil diversion activity is integral to public safety. As the number of personnel dedicated to diversion investigations has increased, the arrests and potential defendants identified for prosecution have also increased. Should prosecutions not keep pace with these increased activities, the reduction of the diversion of controlled substances cannot be accomplished. To help ensure that the increased investment of DCFA resources into the investigation of diversion activity outlined in the 1996 Rule are fully realized with prosecution efforts, the DEA, in cooperation with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) 8 and the United States Attorneys’ Offices, proposes to institute a program to hire attorneys with the requisite experience and education to serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSAs) in targeted federal judicial districts. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821 and 886a, the 1996 Rule, and the 2012 Rule, the hiring, training, and activities of these attorneys will be funded by the DCFA. Once hired, these attorneys will be provided with additional specialized training under this program for prosecuting crimes resulting from DCFA-funded investigations. The criteria utilized in determining the 7 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration December 2012 Report entitled Admissions Reporting Benzodiazepine and Narcotic Pain Reliever Abuse at Treatment Entry. 8 The Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) is the Department of Justice component that provides administrative and policy oversight to the 94 Offices of the United States Attorney. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 appropriate geographic placement of detailed SAUSAs will be based on an examination of several factors in each district, including prescription drug abuse rates; drug overdose death rates; an analysis of opioid prescribing and ordering; input from other Federal, state, and local officials; the number of DCFA-funded DEA personnel in the district; and the input from the United States Attorney, the Diversion Control Division, and the DEA Special Agent in Charge for each judicial district. DEA proposes that the attorneys hired as a part of this program will be directly employed by DEA, and funded through the DCFA. Once hired, they would be detailed to DOJ and receive authorization to serve as SAUSAs from EOUSA, the United States Attorney, and the U.S. District Court in the district of hire to serve in the capacity of a SAUSA. In this role, the SAUSAs would be permitted to represent the United States in criminal and civil proceedings before the courts and apply for various legal orders. All of the anticipated activities will relate to, and result from, those investigations conducted pursuant to the 1996 Rule. While the use of DEA attorneys detailed as SAUSAs and funded through the DCFA is a new concept, the use of attorneys detailed as SAUSAs to complement the capabilities of the United States Attorneys’ Offices is not. Applicable Department of Justice policy states the following regarding SAUSAs employed by other agencies: Attorneys employed in other departments or agencies of the federal government may be appointed as Special Assistants to United States Attorneys, without compensation other than that paid by their own agency, to assist in the trial or presentation of cases when their services and assistance are needed. Such appointments, and appointments of Assistant United States Attorneys from one United States Attorney’s office to another, may be made by the United States Attorney requiring their services.9 In many areas, SAUSAs have been designated from state and local prosecutors’ offices to allow a greater volume of specific types of cases (firearms cases primarily) to be presented in federal court than would otherwise be possible with the resources allocated to the United States Attorneys’ Office. Likewise, funds from the Federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) grant program have been utilized to hire attorneys to serve as SAUSAs that specifically provide prosecutorial and legal services to 9 U.S. Dep’t of Justice, United States Attorneys’ Manual, § 3–2.300 (1998), available at https:// www.justice.gov/usam/usam-3-2000-united-statesattorneys-ausas-special-assistants-and-agac. E:\FR\FM\21MRP1.SGM 21MRP1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules narcotics task forces funded by the HIDTA program. Both of these programs have been highly effective and serve as good models for the proposed use of DCFA-funded SAUSAs to prosecute diversion-related offenses. The goal of this proposed effort is to ensure the effective and efficient use of DCFA resources dedicated to the TDS program by providing resources to help ensure that criminal and related civil cases with sufficient evidence are prosecuted in a timely manner. All DCFA-funded SAUSAs in the program would be utilized exclusively to support DCFA-funded investigations conducted by the DEA and its partnering law enforcement agencies. The types of investigations in which the SAUSAs will assist, and the crimes they will prosecute will stem from the types of investigations identified in the 1996 Rule, which states: ‘‘The targets and types of investigations conducted by the DCP pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821 are identified below. (1) Registrants and their agents or employees suspected of diverting controlled substances from legitimate channels; (2) Persons who engage in the smuggling, theft, robbery and/or trafficking of pharmaceutical controlled substances, including, where appropriate, identifying and immobilizing their sources of supply, whether domestic or foreign, through enforcement of the controls relating to the manufacture, distribution, import, export, and dispensing of controlled substances; (3) Persons, both registered and nonregistered, who conduct controlled substances activities for which they do not have the required DOA or state authorization; (4) Persons who obtain pharmaceutical controlled substances from registrants through fraud, deceit, or circumvention of the controls on manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing, i.e. fraudulent use of another person’s DEA registration number to obtain controlled substances, doctor shoppers, prescription forgers, etc.; (5) The trafficking by non-registrants in controlled substances which are fraudulently promoted as legitimate therapies (such as ‘‘herbal remedies’’ sold ‘‘under the counter’’ which actually contain a controlled substance); (6) Persons who use their DEA registrations to assist in the diversion or misuse of controlled substances for other than medical purposes, such as health care fraud, self-abuse, trading controlled substances for non-medical purposes, etc.’’ 61 FR 68629. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Mar 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 During the course of the investigations described in paragraphs 1 through 6 of the 1996 Rule, additional criminal activity may be uncovered. To the extent this additional criminal activity is committed by an individual or group of individuals whose primary criminal activity is described in paragraphs 1 through 6 of the 1996 Rule, and the additional criminal activity is derivative of, or ancillary to, the illegal activity described in those paragraphs, the investigations have included this additional criminal activity, and these crimes will be prosecuted by the SAUSAs described in this proposed rule. Examples of this type of additional criminal activity would include weapons offenses or crimes of violence in support of diversion offenses; money laundering, structuring or other financial violation to support diversion offenses, or utilizing monies derived from diversion offenses; the use of a telecommunication device in support of diversion offenses; and the forfeiture of assets derived from, or facilitating, diversion offenses. Cost of the SAUSA Program The DEA proposes to initially hire 20 attorneys utilizing funding from the DCFA to implement the program. The initial 20 attorneys would be selected to serve in a minimum of 12 and maximum of 20 federal judicial districts at an estimated annual cost of $3.8 million.10 With an annual, Congressionally-approved budget of more than $371,000,000.00 (Fiscal Year 2016), the expenditures related to the SAUSA program would comprise only 1% of the annual DCFA budget. As a result of the low cost in comparison to the overall DCFA budget, as well as the reprioritization of other DCFA expenditures, this project is not expected to result in an increase to the registration fee schedule. If finalized, this program would be continually evaluated by the DEA to ensure that DCFA funding is spent in accordance with guidelines for the use of DCFA funding found in 21 U.S.C. 821, 822, and 886a; the 1996 Rule; 76 FR 39318, July 6, 2011; and the 2012 Rule. DEA would also continuously evaluate the program to ensure that the project is successful in securing the criminal and civil prosecutions necessary to justify 10 The cost estimate for the 20 positions is based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management 2016 General Schedule (GS) Locality Pay Table for ‘‘Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC–MD–VA– WV–PA’’ at the GS–15 Step 5 level of $145,162. The ‘‘Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC–MD–VA– WV–PA’’ is used to be conservative. Including an estimated 30% for benefits, the estimated cost per position is $188,711 per year, or $3,774,212 ($3.8 million) per year for all 20 positions. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14493 the continued expenditure of DCFA funding. Regulatory Analyses Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 This proposed rule was developed in accordance with the principles of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. As described previously, the estimated annual cost of $3.8 million is less than 1% of the annual DCFA budget and sufficient funding exists in the DCFA budget to allow for this program due to the reprioritization of other budgetary items within the DCP. This program will result in a net zero economic effect and no impact on registration fees. Therefore, the DEA does not anticipate that this rulemaking will have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities. This proposed rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 Section 3(f). Executive Order 12988 This proposed rule meets the applicable standards set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden. Executive Order 13132 This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Executive Order 13175 This proposed rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed E:\FR\FM\21MRP1.SGM 21MRP1 14494 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 53 / Tuesday, March 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1532. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Administrator, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612) (RFA), has reviewed this proposed rule and by approving it certifies that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. There are nearly 1.7 million DEA registrations, of which, a large majority either are held by small entities or are those employed by small entities. As discussed above, the DEA estimates the estimated annual cost of $3.8 million is offset by reprioritization of other DCFA expenditures, resulting in a net zero economic effect and no impact on registration fees for any registrants. Therefore, the DEA estimates that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant effect on a substantial number of these small entities. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 This action does not impose a new collection of information requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521 Dated: March 11, 2017. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2017–05396 Filed 3–20–17; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG–2017–0168] RIN 1625–AA08 Special Local Regulation; Corsica River, Queen Anne’s County, MD Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Coast Guard proposes to establish special local regulations for certain waters of the Corsica River. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on the navigable waters located in Queen Anne’s County, MD during a rowing event on April 22, 2017. If necessary, due to inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to April 23, 2017. This proposed rulemaking would prohibit persons and vessels from entering the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:59 Mar 20, 2017 Jkt 241001 If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Mr. Ronald Houck, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region; telephone 410–576–2674, email Ronald.L.Houck@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking Pub. L. Public Law § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis BILLING CODE 4410–09–P ACTION: Port Maryland-National Capital Region or the Coast Guard Patrol Commander. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking. DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 20, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2017–0168 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http:// www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments. On February 16, 2017, The Gunston School of Centreville, MD notified the Coast Guard that it will be conducting a rowing regatta from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 22, 2017, and if necessary, due to inclement weather, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 23, 2017. The high school rowing event consists of approximately 30 participants competing on a designated 1500-meter distance course in the Corsica River that starts at Rocky Point and finishes at Jacobs Nose near Centreville, MD. Hazards from the rowing competition include participants operating within and adjacent to the designated navigation channel and interfering with vessels intending to operate within that channel, as well as rowing within approaches to local public and private marinas and boat facilities. The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region has determined that potential hazards associated with the rowing event would be a safety concern for anyone intending to participate in this event or for vessels that operate within specified waters of the Corsica River in Queen Anne’s County, MD. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The purpose of this rulemaking is to protect event participants, spectators and transiting vessels on specified waters of the Corsica River before, during, and after the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1233, which authorize the Coast Guard to establish and define special local regulations. III. Discussion of Proposed Rule The COTP Maryland-National Capital Region proposes to establish special local regulations from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on April 22, 2017, and if necessary, due to inclement weather, from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on April 23, 2017. The regulated area would include all navigable waters of the Corsica River, from shoreline to shoreline, within an area bounded on the east by a line drawn from latitude 39°04′32″ N., longitude 076°05′20″ W., thence south to latitude 39°04′07″ N., longitude 076°05′20″ W., and bounded on the west by a line drawn from latitude 39°04′59″ N., longitude 076°06′30″ W., thence south to latitude 39°04′44″ N., longitude 076°06′30″ W., located near Centreville, MD. The duration of the regulated area is intended to ensure the safety of event participants and vessels within the specified navigable waters before, during, and after the scheduled 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. rowing competition. Except for The Gunston Invitational participants, no vessel or person would be permitted to enter the regulated area without obtaining permission from the COTP Maryland-National Capital Region or the Coast Guard Patrol Commander. The regulatory text we are proposing appears at the end of this document. IV. Regulatory Analyses We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders (E.O.s) related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and E.O.s, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors. A. Regulatory Planning and Review E.O.s 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ under E.O. 12866. Accordingly, E:\FR\FM\21MRP1.SGM 21MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 21, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14490-14494]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05396]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Drug Enforcement Administration

21 CFR Parts 1301 and 1311

[Docket No. DEA-445N]


Program To Hire Special Assistant United States Attorneys in 
Targeted Federal Judicial Districts Utilizing Diversion Control Fee 
Account Funds

AGENCY: Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is proposing a rule 
that would expand and enhance the enforcement component of the 
Diversion Control Program (DCP) as previously outlined in the December 
30, 1996, Federal Register document ``Registration and Reregistration 
Application Fees,'' hereinafter referred to as the 1996 Rule. The 1996 
Rule specified six types of investigations involving the diversion of 
controlled substances, which could be pursued by the DCP utilizing 
funding from the Diversion Control Fee Account (DCFA). Those 
investigations included the theft or robbery of pharmaceutical 
controlled substances, the acquisition of pharmaceutical controlled 
substances through fraud or deceit, and other illegal diversion 
activities. The 1996 Rule also authorized the continued use and 
expansion by the DCP of Tactical Diversion Squads (TDSs), defined as, 
``enforcement teams consisting of Federal, state, and local law 
enforcement personnel fully dedicated to the investigation and 
prosecution of persons involved in the diversion of controlled 
substances.''

DATES: Electronic comments must be submitted, and written comments must 
be postmarked, on or before April 20, 2017. Commenters should be aware 
that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept 
comments after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the comment 
period.

ADDRESSES: To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference 
``Docket No. DEA-445N'' on all correspondence, including any 
attachments.
    The Drug Enforcement Administration encourages that all comments be 
submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, which provides the 
ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on the 
Web page or to attach a file for lengthier comments. Please go to 
http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions at that 
site for submitting comments. Upon completion of your submission you 
will receive a Comment Tracking Number for your comment. Please be 
aware that submitted comments are not instantaneously available for 
public view on Regulations.gov. If you have received a Comment Tracking 
Number, your comment has been successfully submitted and there is no 
need to resubmit the same comment. Paper comments that duplicate an 
electronic submission are not necessary and are discouraged. Should you 
wish to mail a paper comment in lieu of an electronic comment, it 
should be sent via regular or express mail to: Drug Enforcement 
Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 
8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael J. Lewis, Diversion Control 
Division, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 
Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-
6812.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed rule would expand on the 
already-recognized investigative activities funded by the DCFA and 
allow for the hiring of attorneys in support of these activities. The 
attorneys, hired by DEA and paid with funds from the DCFA, will be 
detailed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as Special Assistant United 
States Attorneys (SAUSAs), and will assist in the investigation and 
prosecution of those diversion crimes outlined in the 1996 Rule, and 
related civil actions. DCFA-funded SAUSAs in the program would be 
exclusively engaged in duties which provide investigative and 
prosecutorial support to federal criminal and related civil diversion 
investigations conducted by the DEA and its partnering law enforcement 
agencies. The investigations, and the companion support provided by the 
attorneys detailed as SAUSAs in this program, will adhere to the 
guidelines for the use of DCFA funding found in Title 21, United States 
Code, 821, 822, and 886a; the 1996 Rule, 76 FR 39318, July 6, 2011; and 
77 FR 15234, March 15, 2012.
    In addition, the proposed rule would authorize the SAUSAs hired by 
DEA and detailed to DOJ to prosecute crimes that are derivative or 
ancillary criminal violations to the diversion crimes outlined in the 
1996 Rule. Examples of these ancillary or derivative crimes would 
include money laundering or other financial crimes involving the 
proceeds of diversion activity; firearms and crimes of violence related 
to or caused by diversion activity; use of a communication facility to 
commit diversion crimes; and the forfeiture of assets which facilitate 
or are derived from diversion activity.
    In addition to protecting the public, the proposed rule will 
enhance the protections provided to the DEA registrant community by the 
DCP by ensuring that those engaged in criminal and related civil 
violations affecting the DEA registrant population are apprehended, 
and, equally as important, prosecuted. The proposed rule will ensure 
that illegal activities that

[[Page 14491]]

endanger the safety of registrants and their employees (burglary and 
robbery of registered locations); threatens the credibility and 
financial stability of registrants and their employees (prescription 
forgery, fraud, and theft); and damages the public perception and 
reputation of the registrant community (prescribing or dispensing 
outside the course of medical practice and other offenses committed by 
registrants) will be fully addressed through robust investigation and 
prosecution.
    The proposed rule is a continuation of the concepts outlined in 
``Controlled Substances and List 1 Chemical Registration and 
Reregistration Fees,'' 77 FR 15234 (Mar. 15, 2012), hereinafter 
referred to as the 2012 Rule. The 2012 Rule provides that ``it is 
essential to utilize a diverse skilled workforce and constantly review 
and modify all aspects of the DCP to help successfully execute the drug 
trafficking disruption goals of the National Drug Control Strategy and 
effectively prevent, detect, and eliminate the diversion of controlled 
substances and listed chemicals into the illicit market while ensuring 
a sufficient supply of these substances for legitimate medical 
purposes.'' It is in furtherance of that constant review--and 
modification when necessary--that this rule is proposed.
    This proposed rule does not request an increase in Registration and 
Reregistration Fees.

Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received in response to this docket 
are considered part of the public record. They will, unless reasonable 
cause is given, be made available by the Drug Enforcement 
Administration for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying 
information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to all 
comments received. If you want to submit personal identifying 
information (such as your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, 
but do not want it to be made publicly available, you must include the 
phrase ``PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph of 
your comment. You must also place the personal identifying information 
you do not want to be made publicly available in the first paragraph of 
your comment and identify what information you want redacted.
    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of 
your comment, but do not want it to be made publicly available, you 
must include the phrase ``CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION'' in the 
first paragraph of your comment. You must also prominently identify 
confidential business information to be redacted within the comment.
    Comments containing personal identifying information and 
confidential business information identified as directed above will 
generally be made publicly available in redacted form. If a comment has 
so much confidential business information or personal identifying 
information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that 
comment may not be made publicly available. Comments posted to http://www.regulations.gov may include any personal identifying information 
(such as name, address, and phone number) or confidential business 
information included in the text of your electronic submission that is 
not identified as directed above as confidential.

Legal Authority/Diversion Control Fee Account

    Through the enactment of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention 
and Control Act of 1970, as amended (CSA), Congress has established a 
closed system of distribution making it unlawful to handle any 
controlled substance or listed chemical except in a manner authorized 
by the CSA. In order to maintain this closed system of distribution, 
the CSA imposes registration requirements on some handlers of 
controlled substances and list I chemicals.\1\ 21 U.S.C. 822 and 957; 
21 CFR 1301.13 and 1309.25. Under the CSA, the DEA is authorized to 
charge reasonable fees relating to the registration and control of the 
manufacture, distribution, dispensing, import, and export of controlled 
substances and listed chemicals.\2\ 21 U.S.C. 821 and 958(f). However, 
the DEA must set fees at a level that ensures the recovery of the full 
costs of operating the various aspects of its diversion control program 
as outlined in 21 U.S.C. 886a. This is known as the Diversion Control 
Fee Account (DCFA). The diversion control program consists of the 
controlled substance and chemical diversion control activities of the 
DEA which are related to the registration and control of the 
manufacture, distribution, dispensing, importation, and exportation of 
controlled substances and listed chemicals.\3\ 21 U.S.C. 886a(2). The 
DCFA is then utilized by the DEA in strict compliance with 21 U.S.C. 
821, 822, and 886a; the 1996 Rule; 76 FR 39318, July 6, 2011; the 2012 
Rule; as well as all applicable laws, regulations, and DEA policy to 
establish and implement the DEA registration process; to provide 
regulatory oversight of DEA registrants; and to prevent, detect, and 
investigate diversion from the legal channels prescribed by law into 
illegal channels that violate the CSA.
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    \1\ Pursuant to the CSA, certain entities are exempted from 
registration, from paying the registration fee entirely, or are 
exempted from the requirement of a separate registration for 
activities performed as a coincident activity under a registered 
business activity.
    \2\ The Attorney General delegated authorities under the CSA 
(found in titles II and III of the Act) to the Administrator of the 
DEA, who in turn redelegated many of these authorities to the 
Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division. 28 
CFR 0.100 et seq.
    \3\ The Diversion Control Division is the strategic focus area 
within the Administration that carries out the mandates of the CSA 
to ensure that adequate supplies of controlled substances and listed 
chemicals are available to meet legitimate domestic medical, 
scientific, industrial, and export needs. The Diversion Control 
Division carries out the mission of the DEA to prevent, detect, and 
eliminate the diversion of these substances into the illicit drug 
market. Activities in support of the Diversion Control Division and 
its mission include: Determination of program priorities; field 
management oversight; coordination of major investigations; drafting 
and promulgating regulations; the design and proposal of national 
legislation; advice and leadership on State legislation/regulatory 
initiatives; oversight of the importation and exportation of 
tableting and encapsulating machines, controlled substances, and 
listed chemicals; establishment of national drug production quotas; 
activities related to drug scheduling and compliance with 
international treaty obligations; the design and execution of 
diplomatic missions; computerized monitoring and tracking of the 
distribution of certain controlled substances; planning and 
allocation of program resources; and liaison efforts with industry 
and their representative associations as well as to the DEA's 
regulatory and law enforcement counterparts at the federal, State, 
tribal, and local levels.
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The Tactical Diversion Squad Program

    As part of the DCP, and pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821 and 886a, and the 
1996 Rule, DEA has created Tactical Diversion Squad (TDS) units staffed 
by DEA Special Agents, Diversion Investigators, Task Force Officers 
(TFOs) \4\ and Intelligence Analysts to work collaboratively to 
investigate the criminal and related civil aspects of the illegal 
diversion of controlled substances. These illegal practices are 
outlined in the 1996 Rule and include prescribing or dispensing of 
controlled substances outside the course of practice, the theft of 
controlled substances, pharmacy burglary and robbery, prescription 
forgery and fraud, distribution of diverted controlled substances, and 
other violations of Federal law related to the diversion of

[[Page 14492]]

controlled substances. In response to growing drug-related threats, 
particularly the threats posed by opioid abuse, the DEA has continued 
to grow the TDS program. Currently, the DEA has staffed 79 TDS groups 
across the United States to attack the illegal diversion and 
trafficking of pharmaceuticals.
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    \4\ A TFO is a sworn officer of a state or local law enforcement 
agency seconded to DEA and credentialed by DEA as a Federal law 
enforcement officer.
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    Of particular note, state and local law enforcement agencies have 
invested 283 of their officers to work as TFOs with the TDS Squads 
across the United States. These TFOs represent the growing 
understanding in the law enforcement community of the threat posed by 
the diversion of pharmaceutical drugs into our society. The TFOs 
represent a tremendous return on investment for the DCFA as the 
salaries for these officers are borne by their respective departments, 
with the DCFA reimbursing the departments for overtime expenses and 
providing the TFOs with vehicle expenses, travel expenses, and 
investigative expenses. These groups have been extremely effective in 
attacking the prescription drug diversion and abuse problem when allied 
with our critical prosecution partners within the various United States 
Attorney's Offices. As the TDS program continues to grow, it is 
critical that more resources, such as SAUSAs, are available to 
prosecute these cases when necessary.

The DEA's Special Assistant United States Attorney Pilot Program

    The United States is currently in the midst of an epidemic of 
opioid abuse and overdose death. Drug overdose has overtaken deaths 
from firearms and automobile accidents as the leading cause of 
accidental or unintentional injury death in the United States.\5\ In 
2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdoses 
killed 28,000 people in the United States, with more than half of those 
deaths caused by prescription opioids. Drug overdose death increased by 
11.4% from 2014 to 2015 alone (52,404 deaths to 47,055 deaths).\6\ 
Since 1999, the amount of opioid pain medicine prescribed in the United 
States has quadrupled, with a corresponding rise in the number of 
deaths from prescription opioids. In addition to the direct harm caused 
by the abuse of opioid drugs diverted from legitimate use, it is clear 
that the use and abuse of prescription opioids is a gateway to the use 
of other illegal substances. For example, more than 80% of heroin users 
in the United States used prescription drugs as a gateway to their 
eventual use of heroin.
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    \5\ Centers for Disease Control 2014 Deaths, Final Data Report.
    \6\ Centers for Disease Control, Increases in Drug and Opioid-
Involved Overdose Deaths--United States, 2010-2015.
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    Additionally, in a 2012 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental 
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of emergency room visits for 
drug related overdose in young adults aged 18 to 25, more than 11% were 
admitted for misuse/abuse of benzodiazepines; more than were admitted 
for use of heroin (9.9%), cocaine (8.8%), or methamphetamine (5.6%).\7\
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    \7\ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 
December 2012 Report entitled Admissions Reporting Benzodiazepine 
and Narcotic Pain Reliever Abuse at Treatment Entry.
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    As indicated above, to answer this drug abuse epidemic, DEA has 
dedicated increasing resources to the DCP through the expansion of the 
TDS program, which has resulted in dramatic program growth over the 
past decade. In 2006, DEA had five TDS groups in operation with only 70 
Special Agents dedicated to diversion investigations and funded by the 
DCFA. By 2016, the number of TDS groups had grown to 79, with 340 
Special Agents dedicated to diversion investigations.
    The prosecution of those responsible for, and engaged in, criminal 
and related civil diversion activity is integral to public safety. As 
the number of personnel dedicated to diversion investigations has 
increased, the arrests and potential defendants identified for 
prosecution have also increased. Should prosecutions not keep pace with 
these increased activities, the reduction of the diversion of 
controlled substances cannot be accomplished. To help ensure that the 
increased investment of DCFA resources into the investigation of 
diversion activity outlined in the 1996 Rule are fully realized with 
prosecution efforts, the DEA, in cooperation with the Executive Office 
for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) \8\ and the United States 
Attorneys' Offices, proposes to institute a program to hire attorneys 
with the requisite experience and education to serve as Special 
Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSAs) in targeted federal judicial 
districts. Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821 and 886a, the 1996 Rule, and the 
2012 Rule, the hiring, training, and activities of these attorneys will 
be funded by the DCFA. Once hired, these attorneys will be provided 
with additional specialized training under this program for prosecuting 
crimes resulting from DCFA-funded investigations. The criteria utilized 
in determining the appropriate geographic placement of detailed SAUSAs 
will be based on an examination of several factors in each district, 
including prescription drug abuse rates; drug overdose death rates; an 
analysis of opioid prescribing and ordering; input from other Federal, 
state, and local officials; the number of DCFA-funded DEA personnel in 
the district; and the input from the United States Attorney, the 
Diversion Control Division, and the DEA Special Agent in Charge for 
each judicial district.
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    \8\ The Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) is 
the Department of Justice component that provides administrative and 
policy oversight to the 94 Offices of the United States Attorney.
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    DEA proposes that the attorneys hired as a part of this program 
will be directly employed by DEA, and funded through the DCFA. Once 
hired, they would be detailed to DOJ and receive authorization to serve 
as SAUSAs from EOUSA, the United States Attorney, and the U.S. District 
Court in the district of hire to serve in the capacity of a SAUSA. In 
this role, the SAUSAs would be permitted to represent the United States 
in criminal and civil proceedings before the courts and apply for 
various legal orders. All of the anticipated activities will relate to, 
and result from, those investigations conducted pursuant to the 1996 
Rule.
    While the use of DEA attorneys detailed as SAUSAs and funded 
through the DCFA is a new concept, the use of attorneys detailed as 
SAUSAs to complement the capabilities of the United States Attorneys' 
Offices is not. Applicable Department of Justice policy states the 
following regarding SAUSAs employed by other agencies:

    Attorneys employed in other departments or agencies of the 
federal government may be appointed as Special Assistants to United 
States Attorneys, without compensation other than that paid by their 
own agency, to assist in the trial or presentation of cases when 
their services and assistance are needed. Such appointments, and 
appointments of Assistant United States Attorneys from one United 
States Attorney's office to another, may be made by the United 
States Attorney requiring their services.\9\
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    \9\ U.S. Dep't of Justice, United States Attorneys' Manual, 
Sec.  3-2.300 (1998), available at https://www.justice.gov/usam/usam-3-2000-united-states-attorneys-ausas-special-assistants-and-agac.

    In many areas, SAUSAs have been designated from state and local 
prosecutors' offices to allow a greater volume of specific types of 
cases (firearms cases primarily) to be presented in federal court than 
would otherwise be possible with the resources allocated to the United 
States Attorneys' Office. Likewise, funds from the Federal High 
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) grant program have been 
utilized to hire attorneys to serve as SAUSAs that specifically provide 
prosecutorial and legal services to

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narcotics task forces funded by the HIDTA program. Both of these 
programs have been highly effective and serve as good models for the 
proposed use of DCFA-funded SAUSAs to prosecute diversion-related 
offenses.
    The goal of this proposed effort is to ensure the effective and 
efficient use of DCFA resources dedicated to the TDS program by 
providing resources to help ensure that criminal and related civil 
cases with sufficient evidence are prosecuted in a timely manner. All 
DCFA-funded SAUSAs in the program would be utilized exclusively to 
support DCFA-funded investigations conducted by the DEA and its 
partnering law enforcement agencies. The types of investigations in 
which the SAUSAs will assist, and the crimes they will prosecute will 
stem from the types of investigations identified in the 1996 Rule, 
which states: ``The targets and types of investigations conducted by 
the DCP pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 821 are identified below.
    (1) Registrants and their agents or employees suspected of 
diverting controlled substances from legitimate channels;
    (2) Persons who engage in the smuggling, theft, robbery and/or 
trafficking of pharmaceutical controlled substances, including, where 
appropriate, identifying and immobilizing their sources of supply, 
whether domestic or foreign, through enforcement of the controls 
relating to the manufacture, distribution, import, export, and 
dispensing of controlled substances;
    (3) Persons, both registered and nonregistered, who conduct 
controlled substances activities for which they do not have the 
required DOA or state authorization;
    (4) Persons who obtain pharmaceutical controlled substances from 
registrants through fraud, deceit, or circumvention of the controls on 
manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing, i.e. fraudulent use of 
another person's DEA registration number to obtain controlled 
substances, doctor shoppers, prescription forgers, etc.;
    (5) The trafficking by non-registrants in controlled substances 
which are fraudulently promoted as legitimate therapies (such as 
``herbal remedies'' sold ``under the counter'' which actually contain a 
controlled substance);
    (6) Persons who use their DEA registrations to assist in the 
diversion or misuse of controlled substances for other than medical 
purposes, such as health care fraud, self-abuse, trading controlled 
substances for non-medical purposes, etc.'' 61 FR 68629.
    During the course of the investigations described in paragraphs 1 
through 6 of the 1996 Rule, additional criminal activity may be 
uncovered. To the extent this additional criminal activity is committed 
by an individual or group of individuals whose primary criminal 
activity is described in paragraphs 1 through 6 of the 1996 Rule, and 
the additional criminal activity is derivative of, or ancillary to, the 
illegal activity described in those paragraphs, the investigations have 
included this additional criminal activity, and these crimes will be 
prosecuted by the SAUSAs described in this proposed rule. Examples of 
this type of additional criminal activity would include weapons 
offenses or crimes of violence in support of diversion offenses; money 
laundering, structuring or other financial violation to support 
diversion offenses, or utilizing monies derived from diversion 
offenses; the use of a telecommunication device in support of diversion 
offenses; and the forfeiture of assets derived from, or facilitating, 
diversion offenses.

Cost of the SAUSA Program

    The DEA proposes to initially hire 20 attorneys utilizing funding 
from the DCFA to implement the program. The initial 20 attorneys would 
be selected to serve in a minimum of 12 and maximum of 20 federal 
judicial districts at an estimated annual cost of $3.8 million.\10\ 
With an annual, Congressionally-approved budget of more than 
$371,000,000.00 (Fiscal Year 2016), the expenditures related to the 
SAUSA program would comprise only 1% of the annual DCFA budget. As a 
result of the low cost in comparison to the overall DCFA budget, as 
well as the reprioritization of other DCFA expenditures, this project 
is not expected to result in an increase to the registration fee 
schedule. If finalized, this program would be continually evaluated by 
the DEA to ensure that DCFA funding is spent in accordance with 
guidelines for the use of DCFA funding found in 21 U.S.C. 821, 822, and 
886a; the 1996 Rule; 76 FR 39318, July 6, 2011; and the 2012 Rule. DEA 
would also continuously evaluate the program to ensure that the project 
is successful in securing the criminal and civil prosecutions necessary 
to justify the continued expenditure of DCFA funding.
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    \10\ The cost estimate for the 20 positions is based on the U.S. 
Office of Personnel Management 2016 General Schedule (GS) Locality 
Pay Table for ``Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA'' at 
the GS-15 Step 5 level of $145,162. The ``Washington-Baltimore-
Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA'' is used to be conservative. Including an 
estimated 30% for benefits, the estimated cost per position is 
$188,711 per year, or $3,774,212 ($3.8 million) per year for all 20 
positions.
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Regulatory Analyses

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This proposed rule was developed in accordance with the principles 
of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563. As described previously, the 
estimated annual cost of $3.8 million is less than 1% of the annual 
DCFA budget and sufficient funding exists in the DCFA budget to allow 
for this program due to the reprioritization of other budgetary items 
within the DCP. This program will result in a net zero economic effect 
and no impact on registration fees. Therefore, the DEA does not 
anticipate that this rulemaking will have an annual effect on the 
economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way 
the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, 
the environment, public health or safety, or state, local, or tribal 
governments or communities.
    This proposed rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
Executive Order 12866 Section 3(f).

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule meets the applicable standards set forth in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice 
Reform to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear 
legal standards, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13132

    This rulemaking does not have federalism implications warranting 
the application of Executive Order 13132. The rule does not have 
substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

Executive Order 13175

    This proposed rule does not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities between the 
Federal Government and Indian tribes.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by state, 
local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100,000,000 or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one 
year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. 
Therefore, no actions were deemed

[[Page 14494]]

necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995, 2 U.S.C. 1532.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Administrator, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) (RFA), has reviewed this proposed rule and by 
approving it certifies that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
There are nearly 1.7 million DEA registrations, of which, a large 
majority either are held by small entities or are those employed by 
small entities. As discussed above, the DEA estimates the estimated 
annual cost of $3.8 million is offset by reprioritization of other DCFA 
expenditures, resulting in a net zero economic effect and no impact on 
registration fees for any registrants. Therefore, the DEA estimates 
that the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant effect on a 
substantial number of these small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This action does not impose a new collection of information 
requirement under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. 44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521

    Dated: March 11, 2017.
Chuck Rosenberg,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-05396 Filed 3-20-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4410-09-P