The lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have been named a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) as was announced recently by James Carroll, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In all, a total of 10 areas nationwide, including the Tribe which is in the Atlanta/Carolinas HIDTA, received the HIDTA designation including: Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington counties in Pennsylvania (Ohio HIDTA); Atlantic County in New Jersey (Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA); Butler County in Ohio (Ohio HIDTA); Charleston County in South Carolina (Atlanta/Carolinas HIDTA); Mineral County in West Virignia (Washington/Baltimore HIDTA); and Montgomery and Powell Counties in Kentucky (Appalachia HIDTA).
“Drug traffickers are fueling the opioid crisis and poisoning our communities, so we have to be relentless in bringing them to justice,” Carroll said in a statement. “This new funding will allow law enforcement to disrupt trafficking operations in key areas so we can save lives, strengthen our communities, and safeguard our country.”
According to information from the White House, “The HIDTA program was created in 1988 and serves as a catalyst for coordinator among federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions…there are 29 HIDTAs located in 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.”
A request was made for comment from Cherokee Chief of Police Doug Pheasant. His response was not received by press time.
– White House release, One Feather staff contributed to this report