WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is asking the director of the FBI to look into the consequences of the state’s recent settlement with opioid distributor McKesson.
Manchin called the $37 million settlement “dangerous” when he questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray this week during a U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations meeting.
Manchin said he’s concerned the settlement has cut off the opportunity to find out why McKesson dumped millions of pills in the Mingo County community of Kermit.
“When there is a deal made and they have an agreed upon amount that they are going to pay restitution we are not able to get, especially if they don’t admit to guilt towards wrongdoing, the information,” Manchin said.
“Basically at that time, the courts say that belongs back to the company or they will destroy them.”
Manchin asked Wray if the FBI could help him find out why McKesson sent so many pills to a town with a population of 392.
“They sent nine million pills to this little town,” Manchin said. “They are one of the biggest distributors of pills all over my state. To let them off is just absolutely criminal in my mind because of what they did to our state.
“We know the intent cannot be for the health outcome when you’re sending nine million pills to a town of 392 people. Is there any way that that (the settlement) can be stopped or we can reverse that so we can get some information on the intent of what they’re doing and how to stop that?”
WATCH: @MorriseyWV‘s sweetheart settlement with McKesson is a slap in the face to families impacted by the opioid epidemic & hinders our ability to stop drug distributors from taking advantage of #WV again. I asked FBI Dir. Christopher Wray to look into this dangerous settlement. pic.twitter.com/KCGrUYCDaJ
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) May 9, 2019
Manchin has previously called the settlement a “sweetheart deal.”
The settlement was announced on May 2 by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
He has been critical of Manchin, including a tweet on Thursday:
Hey Joe, the election is over. You won. Maybe you can start doing some actual work instead of playing politics with people’s lives. Manchin is trying to deflect blame from his time as Gov when the pill problem exploded. I’ve been working to clean up Manchin’s mess since 2013. https://t.co/JqQsrd2Kw5
— AG Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) May 9, 2019
On Friday, Kermit will be the host to Democratic presidential candidate Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Warren announced on Wednesday that she will be reintroducing the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act, a plan to dedicate billions of federal dollars for prevention and addiction treatment services.