Five Appalachian counties were designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas today, including Jefferson County, West Virginia. The designation allows the counties to receive federal resources to improve drug control and reduce illicit use.
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) are defined as areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions in the U.S., according to a news release from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. There are 28 HIDTAs across the country, and each includes several counties.
In the press release, National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli said the designation of the new counties will “enhance the ability of federal, state, and local authorities to coordinate drug enforcement operations and improve public health and safety.”
The law enforcement organizations working within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking issues and design specific initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs and money laundering.
The other Appalachian counties added to the HIDTA designation include:
- Blount County, Tennessee
- Carroll County, Virginia
- Grayson County, Virginia
- Broome County, New York