GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Josephine County has been designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by the federal government, according to a statement by the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.
The title is part of a program from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and encourages greater cooperation between federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to disrupt and dismantle drug running operations.
Josephine County is one of 13 new counties across 12 states freshly added to HIDTA status.
“The proven success of our HIDTA program is a direct result of the hard work of those on the frontlines of this fight, and the invaluable partnerships they’ve formed with law enforcement groups across the Nation," said Jim Carroll, ONDCP Director. "From day one, the Trump Administration has strongly supported the men and women dedicated to stopping deadly drugs from flowing into our communities, and we’re renewing that commitment once again today. By expanding our HIDTA program to these critical areas, we are providing more resources to help achieve our mission of keeping more of our family members, friends, and neighbors safe.”
According to the Trump Administration, the program helped dismantle 3,000 drug trafficking organizations across the country in 2018 alone — removing $16.5 billion in drugs at wholesale value from the street. The program was also involved in almost 99,000 arrests.
In 2018, the Trump Administration created the first addition to HIDTA in 17 years, "to combat emerging threats in Alaska," ONDCP said. Now there are HIDTA areas and funding in each of the 50 states.
Josephine County joins the "Oregon-Idaho" HIDTA — primarily focused on a group of counties that roughly tracks the I-5 corridor between the borders with Washington and California, plus Umatilla county in the northeast of Oregon and Malheur county in the southeast. Jackson County is already a part of the HIDTA.
Siskiyou County is part of the "Central Valley California" HIDTA, which encompasses two disparate regions north and south of Sacramento.
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