Justice Department looks back on the work done within the past year with Operation S.O.S.

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WASHINGTON (WDTV)-- It has been one year since the Justice Department announced the formation of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge, known as Operation S.O.S.

According to the Justice Department, Operation S.O.S. is a program that is designed to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas as well as identifying wholesale distribution networks and international domestic suppliers.

According to the Justice Department, 10 districts with some of the highest drug overdose death rates in the country targeted a county where they focused on prosecuting every case possible involving synthetic opioids within the past year.

Two of the districts are in West Virginia.

According to the Justice Department, the districts worked with the DEA Special Operations Division and received assistance from the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces to track and coordinate the cases.

“Our attorneys and law enforcement agents have spent the past year working tirelessly to disrupt the networks engaged in the trafficking of synthetic opioids. Today we are proud to share their successes in 10 of the districts most affected by this scourge,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said.

According to the Justice Department, the Northern District of West Virginia has 22 cases with one "death resulting" prosecution and one case resulting in eight separate cases involving 35 defendants.

The Southern District of West Virginia has 62 cases pending with 13 convictions, according to the Justice Department.

Rosen said that there is still work to be done, but Operation S.O.S. marks a key turning point in the fight against synthetic opioids.