SPOKANE - Grant County has been officially designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by the White House’s Office of National Drug Policy, a designation that will bring more federal resources to the area to combat the drug-trafficking problem.
“This is great news for the citizens of Grant County. The sheriff’s office has achieved this national designation for law enforcement,” stated U.S. Attorney William D. Hyslop. “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 HIDTA task force program, created by Congress in 1988, creates a mechanism of coordination between federal, state, local and tribal resources to combat drug trafficking and reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated regions of the country.
“This designation showcases the strength of our investigators, and makes the Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Tea (INET) eligible for greater resources to fight drug crimes in Grant County,” Sheriff Tom Jones said.
There are currently 28 High Intensity Drug Trafficking areas in the country, which include about 18 percent of all counties and 66 percent of the population. The Drug Enforcement Administration plays a key role and has nearly 600 authorized special agent positions dedicated to the program.
“The law enforcement agencies working in Grant County earned this designation through hard work, collaboration and leadership committed to a team approach,” Hyslop added. “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 the federal resources to combat drug distribution and increase enforcement efforts.”