2,600+ pounds of illegal narcotics seized in Indian Country in 2019

BY STAFF REPORTS
08/30/2020 10:00 AM
WASHINGTON – According to an Aug. 24 release, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force in Indian Country seized more than 2,600 pounds of illegal narcotics were seized in Indian Country in 2019.

The release states that law enforcement officials successfully led 14 operations across seven states, resulting in more than 313 arrests and the seizure of 2,607 pounds of illegal narcotics with an estimated street value of $19.6 million, more than double the price tag from the previous year.

“Our Bureau of Indian Affairs officers successfully stopped thousands of pounds of deadly narcotics from reaching tribal communities last year, and they continue to serve with distinction every day,” said Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt.

Established in 2018 and led by the BIA’s Office of Justice Services with operational support provided by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Park Police and other federal entities, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DOI Opioid Reduction Task Force continues to make an impact on illegal drug trafficking in Indian Country.

“The DOI Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force and their partner agencies work with BIA Office of Justice Services to make tribal communities safer for those who live, work, visit, attend school and operate businesses there,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney. “Their combined efforts also serve tribal self-determination by helping tribal governments protect their sovereignty from being undermined by criminal enterprises.”

The task force has been joined by tribal, state and local agencies in its efforts to disrupt illegal narcotics sales and disband drug trafficking networks that plague Indian Country communities —successful operations that have made it a model for other law enforcement agencies.

More information on the Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force in Indian Country’s work can be found here.

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