Indianapolis, Ind. — U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced today that Marion County has received the designation as a federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by President Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. Working with a number of local, state and federal law enforcement partners, Marion County Prosecutor Curry submitted an application for the county to join with the existing HIDTA based in Lake County, Indiana. The designation will allow Marion County to receive federal resources to increase coordinated drug enforcement operations, support prevention efforts and improve public health and safety.
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, who helped the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office with its application and wrote a letter of support to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, “As Indiana, and our country, fight the drug epidemics that are devastating families and communities, I was proud to support Marion County in applying for this designation that will bring resources to help law enforcement combat drug trafficking.”
Prosecutor Curry stated, “This designation by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and additional federal support will expand our ability to conduct multi-agency, long-term investigations and prosecute cases aimed at dismantling these drug operations. We sincerely appreciate the support of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and assistance from IMPD, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and other federal, state and local law enforcement partners in making this application successful.”
Donnelly believes it will take cooperation at every level of government, along with community partners, to provide a comprehensive response to the drug epidemic by rooting out drug traffickers, expanding prevention efforts, and increasing access to treatment and recovery services.
Lake and Porter counties were previously the only HIDTA designated counties in Indiana. Today the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced the approval of applications from Marion and LaPorte counties to join the existing HIDTA, creating an expanded multi-county HIDTA in Indiana.
Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA program serves as a catalyst for coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. Law enforcement organizations working within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking issues and design specific initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs and money laundering. There are currently 28 HIDTAs located in 49 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
A press conference is expected to be held later this month to provide more details on this announcement and its potential impact on Marion County.