Pubdate: Fri, 15 Nov 2013
Source: Register-Herald, The (Beckley, WV)
Copyright: 2013 The Register-Herald
Author: Wendy Holdren


Federal Resources to Help County in Ongoing Battle

PINEVILLE - Wyoming County will now be included in the Appalachia High
Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which will enable the county
to receive additional federal resources to help further drug control

"The added federal muscle that this new HIDTA designation brings to
Wyoming County, and which I pressed hard to secure, will help our
state and local law enforcement authorities in their tireless fight
against drug abuse," Congressman Nick Rahall said.

He said the crime that accompanies drug trafficking and abuse requires
a coordinated response across all levels of government.

"I am working hard to ensure our state's law enforcement officials
have access to the resources and training and information that they
need to help them protect our communities."

Rahall has been meeting with members of HIDTA, as well as the director
of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), who visited
southern West Virginia earlier this year at Rahall's request, about
the drug abuse and trafficking problems in the region and to advocate
the expansion of the Appalachia HIDTA to bring more resources into the

The new HIDTA designation will increase access to federal resources
and information sharing in southern West Virginia.

Law enforcement organizations within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking
problems and design specific initiatives to decrease the production,
manufacture, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs
and money laundering.

"The West Virginia State Police has a great partnership with
Appalachia HIDTA, which provides invaluable resources to our fight
against the illegal distribution of drugs in our state," said State
Police Maj. T.D. Bradley, chief of Field Services.

"With the ever-growing plague of prescription pill diversion, this
designation could not come at a better time. We are very grateful to
Congressman Rahall, who has worked tirelessly with ONDCP to get this
designation which provides resources to our state."

Rahall said a multi-prong strategy is needed in "waging a successful
battle against the epidemic," which includes increasing law
enforcement and substance abuse education and treatment.

"I intend to keep pushing hard on all fronts to ensure that our
communities have every resource available in our fight to protect our
homes and businesses from the harmful consequences of drug abuse and
trafficking," Rahall said.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. M.S. Godfrey, with the Jesse
detachment, said any additional resources the county can receive will
be highly beneficial.

"I cannot say what specific measures that this might bring about to
assist us in fighting the war on drugs and trying to at least curtail
illegal drug usage here in Wyoming County, but any additional
resources that we might have at our disposal or might be able to
utilize to assist us in reducing the illegal drug usage here will of
course be highly beneficial to the citizens of Wyoming County and to
the citizens of southern West Virginia."

Godfrey said not all crime activities in Wyoming County are able to be
directly tied to the drug trade, but many crimes, from petty theft all
the way to murder, are suspected of being linked to drugs.

"The war on drugs will always be there. It's not something we can win,
but it's something we will continue to fight on a daily basis," he

With Wyoming County, the Appalachia HIDTA includes 15 West Virginia
counties: Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Hancock, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan,
Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Ohio, Putnam and Wayne counties.
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