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U.S. Senator Capito announces agreement between Marshall University, HSI to combat opioid crisis in W.Va.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced a finalized partnership between Marshall University and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Marshall will receive $4.25 million to develop and implement a tool to aid HSI in investigation, disrupting, and dismantling criminal activity related to the opioid epidemic. This partnership will enhance the ability to fight the opioid crisis and enlists the help of Marshall Digital Forensics and Information Assurance program’s students, faculty, and facilities.

“As chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I’ve worked to combine the talents and abilities of these two respected entities, Marshall University and HSI,” Chairman Capito said. “This partnership in cybersecurity and forensics is a promising one for West Virginia as we continue working to fight the opioid epidemic, and I’m confident it will also benefit other states and communities across the country by improving our ability to monitor and interdict illicit activity on the internet. I’m proud to have helped make the connections within the department and provide funding for what I hope will be a long-term partnership between Marshall and HSI.”

“Marshall University continues to work diligently to address all aspects of the opioid epidemic here at home and across the United States,” said Dr. Jerome Gilbert, president of Marshall University. “This new award allows the university to develop and deploy a mechanism that will aid our federal agencies in fighting criminal activity associated with the epidemic. I’m incredibly proud of our faculty-scientists and staff members involved in this project.”

Discussions between the university and the department have been ongoing for several months; and earlier this year, Chairman Capito toured the Marshall Forensics Lab with DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

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