A special designation out of the U.S. Attorney’s office will bring extra resources to help fight drugs in southern Indiana. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Director Chuck Poruncznik have added Vanderburgh County to the Indiana HIDTA.

The HIDTA designation for Vanderburgh County will allow access to federal resources to combat drug distribution and increase enforcement efforts. Law enforcement agencies will now access drug trafficking issues and create Vanderburgh County specific initiatives that will laser focus on outcomes and performance. HIDTA provides unprecedented national connectivity to access drug threats and trends throughout the country.

“The HIDTA program in Indiana is another tool available to law enforcement for the purpose of reducing the terrible effects of illicit drugs on our Hoosier communities.” said Minkler. “Adding Vanderburgh County to the Indiana HIDTA, will aid law enforcement officers in southern Indiana by helping to reduce drug distribution networks and other violent crimes associated with illicit drugs.”

While the grant says Vanderburgh County the impact is expected to be much more widespread. Local police say they believe the program will reach into the Washington-Daviess County area as well.

“This HIDTA grant will assist Law Enforcement agencies throughout Southern Indiana by providing additional funding and resources to disrupt and ultimately dismantle drug trafficking organizations in our community,” said Washington Police Detective Brandon Garland. “The HIDTA Task Force will continue to work with their federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, and ultimately arrest those individuals trafficking drugs in this community as well as other communities throughout Southern Indiana.”

Congress created the HIDTA task force program in 1988 under the control of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). It creates a mechanism for coordination of federal, state, local and even tribal resources to combat drug trafficking in designated regions.

“The addition of Vanderburgh County to the Indiana HIDTA allows 6 counties in the more populated areas of the state to gain focused attention and federal resources to reduce drug related activity and violence,” HIDTA Director Chuck Porucznik. “The goal of the HIDTA program is simple, disrupt the market for illegal drugs by dismantling and disrupting drug trafficking and money laundering organizations through law enforcement coordination.”

“It is an honor for the DEA to oversee the HIDTA initiative for Vanderburgh County,” added Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Gannon. “The DEA is committed to working with their state, local and federal counterparts to utilize all available resources provided by the HIDTA to target and dismantle the most violent and dangerous drug trafficking and money laundering organizations in Vanderburgh County and the surrounding area.”

Something that local police say will make a difference in the drug trade in the area.

“It’s a huge benefit when we have multiple agencies all throughout Southern Indiana working together towards the same goal,” said Garland.

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