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Jefferson County designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

Jefferson County designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Members of West Virginia’s congressional delegation applauded the designation Thursday of Jefferson County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area .

Jefferson County was one of 14 additional counties in 10 states that was announced by Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli.

“Jefferson County has a real problem. It has the fifth highest overdose rate in our state,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito said. “Berkeley County has similar if not even worse problems. It’s a part of that hub of Baltimore and Washington that’s ripe for drug trafficking.”

The HIDTA designation enables Jefferson County to receive federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among federal, state and local law enforcement officials.

West Virginia Second District Congressman Alex Mooney has been working on the designation for months.

“I am pleased to announce that Jefferson County has been designated a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This HIDTA designation will bring critical resources to Jefferson County to combat the drug epidemic that is ravaging our communities and way of life,” Mooney said in a news release. “I have visited with my constituents and heard far too many heart-wrenching stories about the damages caused by drug abuse. These HIDTA resources will help federal, state, and local officials better coordinate efforts as they fight to keep West Virginia

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin was pleased to see more attention toward the drug issue.

“As heroin trafficking and abuse rates continue to climb, it is absolutely critical that our local law enforcement officials and drug task forces have the resources they need to combat the influx of drugs coming into our state,” Manchin said.

Capito said that a lot of work went into getting the designation, including coming up with a plan and demonstrating statistics.

“You have to designate that you have the statistics. Sadly, we have the statistics but we need the resources to help families and prevent deaths,” she said. “We were in contact with the White House on this. It’s a federal designation through the White House Office of Drug Control. We worked them pretty hard.”

Jefferson is the 19th county in West Virginia to be designated. The following counties also have a HIDTA designation: Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Hancock, Harrison, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Wayne and Wyoming.