Grant County designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area; eligible for federal assistance
- Spokane, WA
William D. Hyslop, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, congratulated Grant County today on being officially designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
U.S. Attorney Hyslop said,
“This is great news for the citizens of Grant County. The Sheriff’s Office has achieved this national designation for law enforcement. It will bring greater information sharing and intelligence within the HIDTA network of law enforcement agencies to attack the ever-present drug problem. It will enable the County to be eligible to apply for greater federal resources to augment the County’s law enforcement efforts. Both of those can lead to taking more criminals off the streets and to a safer and more secure County for the law abiding public.”
“The law enforcement agencies working in Grant County earned this designation through hard work, collaboration and leadership committed to a team approach. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington was happy to assist throughout the designation process. HIDTA provides unprecedented national connectivity to access drug threats and trends throughout the country. It will allow access to federal resources to combat drug distribution and increase enforcement efforts. Through HIDTA, we will be able to share information and intelligence so those individuals who are polluting our communities with drugs will be held accountable."
Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said,
“This designation showcases the strength of our investigators, and makes the Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) eligible for greater resources to fight drug crimes in Grant County.”
Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA task force program, which is under the ONDCP, creates a mechanism for coordination of federal, state, local and tribal resources to combat drug trafficking and reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated regions of the country.
On background: HIDTA
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. This grant program is administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
There are currently 28 HIDTAs, which include approximately 18 percent of all counties in the United States and 66 percent of the U.S. population. HIDTA-designated counties are located in 49 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. The DEA plays a very active role and has nearly 600 authorized special agent positions dedicated to the program.
At the local level, the HIDTAs are directed and guided by Executive Boards composed of an equal number of regional Federal and non-Federal (state, local, and tribal) law enforcement leaders. The 2016 HIDTA annual budget is $250 million.
The purpose of the HIDTA program is to reduce drug trafficking and production in the United States by:
Facilitating cooperation among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to share information and implement coordinated enforcement activities;
- Enhancing law enforcement intelligence sharing among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
- Providing reliable law enforcement intelligence to law enforcement agencies to facilitate the design of effective enforcement strategies and operations; and
- Supporting coordinated law enforcement strategies that make the most of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas of the United States and in the Nation as a whole.
To qualify for consideration as a HIDTA, an area must meet the following criteria:
-The area is a significant center of illegal drug production, manufacturing, importation, or distribution; State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies have committed resources to respond to the drug trafficking problem in the area, thereby indicating a determination to respond aggressively to the problem;
Drug-related activities in the area are having a significant harmful impact in the area and in other areas of the country; and A significant increase in allocation of Federal resources is necessary to respond adequately to drug related activities in the area.