Eight more U.S. counties named to White House drug-trafficking list
The White House says High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas help coordinate police efforts to combat drug use and production.
June 20th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Eight more U.S. counties named to White House drug-trafficking list

New York's, Washington's and Atlanta's federally designated drug-trafficking zones just got a little bigger.

They're called High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, to be exact, and they're designed to regionally coordinate law enforcement efforts to tackle issues such as drug production, distribution, chronic use and money laundering. Local, state and federal agencies operating in HIDTAs receive extra equipment, technology and other resources to combat drug trafficking.

Approximately 16% of the nation's counties - encompassing a whopping 60% of the population - fall within one of the 28 HIDTAs, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

You can now add the following to the list: Orange County, New York; Mendocino County, California; Porter County, Indiana; Harford County, Maryland; Lexington and Richland counties, South Carolina; and Putnam and Mercer counties, West Virginia.

Border and port cities compose the majority of the HIDTAs, and some areas may cover multiple states. New York and New Jersey are in the same HIDTA, for instance, and Atlanta's HIDTA extends to North Carolina.

"Close collaboration with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners is a critical component of our efforts to reduce both the demand and supply of drugs," ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske said in a statement. "By designating these counties as HIDTAs, we will create a powerful catalyst for cooperation among federal, state, local and tribal agencies working to make our communities healthier and safer.”

Comprehensive efforts to address drug-related issues over the last three decades have resulted in an American drug use rate that is about half of what it was in the late 1970s, according to the statement. The Obama administration, it said, has committed more than $10 billion to drug-education programs and treatment for addicts, and more than $9 billion to law enforcement efforts.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • California • Crime • Drug violence • Drugs • Indiana • Maryland • New York • Politics • South Carolina • U.S. • West Virginia
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Pat

    End Prohibition Now!
    It nearly destroyed the country in the 1920s, and is destroying the country now.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You have to be kidding?! Are you really trying to make this into a third world country like peru or columbia? How many people have to die, have to live as addicts, just so you can have your weed? You make me sick.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      matt: if you want prohibition, this is the result

      June 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. think

    Well iam sure it would be the same response spoken ti a judge when a person killed another under the influence of alchol

    June 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. billhensen

    Agreed, it has already served its purpose of eliminating most all of our freedoms,creation of a quasi-military police state and extensive secret police and informant network. End the drug war now

    June 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Canuck

    This is pathetic. It's long past time to end cannabis prohibition – the people are way ahead of the legislators on this issue.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tal

    The war on drugs is an absolute and unequivocal failure. Its working almost as well as prohibition did in the 20's (hint: Al Capone)

    Making things illegal only creates a market for them to be smuggled. Smugglers cause violent crime because there is big money in selling something that is illegal. The harsher the penalties you enforce the higher the price goes. The higher the price the more violent they will be willing to act in the defense of their profits.

    You cannot stop stupid people from doing drugs. The only difference is whether they buy it from a pharmacy or mass murdering criminals. If we make the drugs legal these large smuggling organizations will collapse from lack of revenue.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    No executed drug dealer has ever sold one more ounce of drugs.
    That is a fact.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      No executed drug dealer has ever gone unreplaced for more than 5 minutes. That is a fact.

      They arent just doing it for the hell of it. They do it because there is good money it doing it. The reward will always outweigh the risk no matter how harsh you make the penalties because the value of the product increases relative to the available supply.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Douglas

    I love living in Harford County <3 <3

    June 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Double Doh

    Yes the government is insane!!! Keep doing the same thing decade after decade after decade and expect a different result...we must be insane letting them get away with it for this long...they have no shame wasting billions and lying relentlessly to us all, shame on all the politicians and government agencies!!!

    June 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Nylon ropes may last longer than hemp ropes, but I'm just speculating about that.
    At any rate, the solution is permanent for that drug dealer.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    If you can talk, I can talk.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The U.S. has always looked at the war on drugs backwards which has created a prison system populated by drug addicts instead of going after the drug suppliers. We can put boots on the ground to fight wars but we won't take our local policemen out of the comfort of their cars to put their boots on the ground to walk our neighborhoods which would stop some of this drug trafficking in neighborhoods. Calling in a "Swat Team" is good but it's always after the distribution of drugs.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      We tried waging war on the suppliers. That doesnt work any better. Every kingpin you kill, every cartel you destroy, every warehouse you burn down...that victory is temporary. There will always be someone to take their place because smuggling is profitable.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Sacco and Vanzetti were right: anarchy is the only solution.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob Teitelbaum

    What's up with DC being lumped in as "DC/Baltimore?" We don't get enough love to have a HIDTA of our own? I'm pretty sure we traffic enough drugs to deserve our own. And I'm pretty sure B'more does too...

    June 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew

    Drug War Fail, among others...

    June 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phil in KC

    How about providing a link to the full list? The question at the top of the article asks if my county is on the list. How would I know?

    June 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      If youve been shot or stabbed recently then your county is probably on the list. 😛

      You can find more info by checking out the link in the article though.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
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