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. USATxMx

    Tax all drugs. What's the differrence if we dont? Damned if we do damned if we dont. WHY TRY TO COVER THE SUN WITH OUR ONE THUMB. DRUGS ARE ALL OVER.. SALES OF EVEN LEGAL DRUGS ARE ALSO BEING SOLD BY THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED OF CASH & I mean old folks who need to take the meds but sell them 'cause they're caught in the bowl..below poverty. Addiction to drugs for some begins to take pain away.. & for others beware 'cause any drug that's used for recreational will lead to PAIN.. Physically..Emotionally & Spiritually.. Sad..but true. I wish it were different.. but It is what it is. What's the difference we're already walking among ZOMBIES.. who care less for themselves.. & give a hootnanny about any of us.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rey

    bravo gingersrule1 bravo

    June 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fred Evil

    And America's ridiculous 'War on Drugs' continues unabated, smashing freedoms of citizens, and enriching cartel thugs. When will those in charge face the music, and realize they are only making it WORSE by prohibiting substances that will be consumed anyways...?

    June 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      The War on Drugs was nothing more than a clever marketing campaign. The problem has escalated over the years, not decreased. This is working as intended. We now have a ton of privately owned jails that make rich investors tons of money. Spanish Inquisition, anyone?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. eggstatic

    Ever Vigilant and Dean: i'm sure you don't have any friends or family to miss you if you were accidentally executed. China executes people for just about any reason. Maybe you'd prefer living in a communist dictatorship, but most of us in the USA would not. Btw: even death doe not deter crime. Not in China, nor anywhere else. It only encourages corruption and rebellion. China is a good example of both, and what happens to those who go against a dictatorship. Funny how the neocons lean towards wanting a military state with no personal freedoms. You sure you people believe in Democracy? Or, does the word threaten you because it starts the same as the word, "democrat"? Trust me, that's no accident.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jessie

    Honestly, as if they haven't already wasted enough tax dollars on this ridiculous cause. The system is set up for failure, local, state, and federal government along with law enforcement officials all have their hands in the bottomless pocket known as funding. They could legalize it, tax it, and make money, but why? They make just as much if not MORE with the drugs being illegal. Think about it for a second. You get caught selling drugs, and you go to jail, who foots the bill? Tax payers. You get sentenced, and they slap you with a heafty fine, where does that money go? State Treasury. Also consider this, with the job market and economy where it is right now, once you are convicted with felony drug charges, you are unable to find an "honest" living, so most go back to selling drugs. It's a never ending, unbeatable, cycle... And it's not going to change any time soon.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Not to mention Law Enforcement wants to keep their jobs, what happens to all of those DEA agents and prison guards should we legalize drugs? Won't have to stack citizens 4 to a 2-man cell anymore, and pay for hundreds of hours of overtime for the guards to keep an eye on them.
      Not at all how the GOP wants things to be. If they don't have someone to pick on and belittle, they may have to face their own feelings of self-loathing.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Moral panic is the strongest weapon of the demagogue against reason.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe in Colorado

    What kind of knucklehead uses drugs anyway? Nobody I know does, or at least admits it.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      As long as it has a label on it and is sponsored by a doctor, it's ok, yes?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      We all do Joe,....ever take an aspirin? Tylenol? Cigarettes, beer, they're all drugs...the government just likes some more than others.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      The reason nobody you know will admit to it is because they see you as a very close minded person who refuses to research facts as opposed to anecdotal nonsense. BTW Joe in Colorado you are aware that there are now approximately 140,000 licensed users of marijuana in Colorado alone. Maybe you ought to speak with your neighbor?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Alcohol is a drug you seem to forget. Aspirin is a drug. You seem to completely miss the boat on this ambiguity. Do you not use a pharmacy, ever, even when deathly ill? You haven't about this at all, have you? Don't post drivel

      June 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      ....and don't forget junk food, most widespread drug in the US and number one killer along with smoking

      June 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Iconoclast:
    I addressed alcohol prior to your 3:30 post addressed to me.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      Yeah I saw that afterwards. I assume then that you are in full support of prohibiting alcohol sales and imposing death penalties for users and dealers of alcohol?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ed

    The war on drugs is a total waste of US tax dollars and resources. Legalize and tax it. The Mexican Drug/Boarder Problem would end since there would no longer be a black market demand. Also, it would be a lot cheaper paying for someones rehab vs spending all the money on catching and sending drug dealers and users to prision.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hurricane

    Another great waste of taxpayer money...I've completely lost faith in Obama. World organizations are calling for the decriminilization of ALL drugs and our leaders want to spend more enforcing laws that will never work.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim

    Regulate all drugs. Prohibition is a money-making scam. Drug dealers love prohibition because that's what creates artificially inflated prices on contraband. The government is so corrupt regarding drugs it is a disgrace to this country. Support Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Stop re-electing corrupt public officials who support prohibition which claims to protect safety when it actually a primary cause of social problems and actually contradicts our own best interests. "I could stab my eye with a fork so should we make forks illegal?" Joe Rogan. Too much aspirin can kill you. Too much coffee can kill you. Even too much water can kill you. Should we make all these things illegal? Prohibition is a money-making scheme for the few at the expense of the many. Support Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    June 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. studdmuffins

    Anything to continue the drive toward full federal control of local law enforcement, that's the ticket.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. paul

    Mendocino County CA is a huge illegal pot growing area. The phone book advertises a large number of Hydroponics gardening outlets. However, its home grown not imported from Mexico so it should just be taxed and regulated. Where is the IRS? These people do NOT pay taxes.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lloyd roberts

    Hmm, they say the drug use rate is down 50% since the late 1970's, yea whatever. But I guarantee the alcohol use and abuse rate has gone up 2000% since the late 1970's, especially for young people. Good job

    June 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hard to understand

    Where does the support for the war on drugs come from anyway? Conservatives tend to place an emphasis on personal responsibility and small government. Liberals tend to place an emphasis on control over one's body and privacy. Also everyone seems to partake in marijuana. So you really have to think about where this is coming from. And the answer is that it is from the special interest group of law enforcement officials and prison owners: You get rid of the drug war, a lot of cops lose their jobs and a lot less prisons are needed.

    June 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      Don't forget the pharmaceutical industry and liquor/brewing industries. Pharmaceutical companies find the thought of people being able to grow their own analgesics to be anathema, liquor sales tend to drop where cannabis is legalized or available for medical purposes.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. oag

    I love Mendo. Humboldt.. the emerald triangle. But people are getting killed over a plant folks. A very over priced produce. I remember when the Mendo county Sheriff said " if tomatos were selling for over $3000 a lb. people would be getting killed over them too." well people, herb is easier to grow than tomatos no doubt about it..

    June 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
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