Pubdate: Sun, 11 Sep 2005
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Copyright: 2005 Richmond Newspapers Inc.
Author: Tom Campbell
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


The four major localities in the greater Richmond area are being added to 
the federal Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, 
putting drug-fighting law enforcement here in line for hundreds of 
thousands of dollars.

"This is terrific news for law enforcement in the Richmond area," said Paul 
J. McNulty, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

"Interstate 95, the main north-south artery on the East Coast, runs through 
greater Richmond," he said. "It is a hub for moving drugs from Miami and 
Atlanta to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York."

Expansion of the Washington-Baltimore area to Richmond and the counties of 
Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield means "we will be able to fund regional 
strategies that leave drug traffickers nowhere to turn," McNulty said.

The decision to expand was made by the Office of National Drug Control 
Policy, which administers 28 HIDTAs across the country, according to the 
office of U.S. Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th. The office is authorized to 
designate areas that have serious drug-trafficking problems.

Law enforcement within the designated areas assesses those problems and 
designs initiatives to attempt to deal with them.

"The goal of HIDTAs is to disrupt drug-trafficking and reduce overall 
drug-related crime and violence," according to a statement from McNulty's 
office. "They use federal funds to improve the coordination of federal, 
state and local responses to drug-trafficking organizations."

McNulty is chairman of the executive board of the Washington-Baltimore HIDTA.

"The expansion of our HIDTA comes at a critical time," McNulty said. 
"Methamphetamine abuse is rising throughout the area. Mexican 
drug-trafficking organizations in North Carolina have emerged as major 
distributors for drugs in Richmond. Open-air drug markets continue to be a 
blight on Richmond. The law-enforcement community in greater Richmond will 
put these additional resources to good use."
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MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman