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High Intensity Drug Trafficking AreaInternational
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Los Angeles HIDTA

Mission Statement: It is the mission of the LA-HIDTA to measurably reduce drug trafficking; thereby reducing the impact of illicit drugs in this and other areas of the country. This mission is accomplished through the use of multi-jurisdictional (federal, state, and local), collocated, and commingled law enforcement initiatives designed to attack, disrupt, and dismantle major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that are operating in and through the LA-HIDTA region.

General Information:
Year of Designation: 1990
Geographic area of Responsibility:
California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
Contact: (213) 989-6457

Threat Abstract:

The Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (LA-HIDTA) designated geographic area covers the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino, and is comprised of some 32,341 square miles, including 213 miles of coastline, with a general population of approximately 15 million. The economically and culturally diverse population of the region exceeds that of 41 states. The territorial expanse of the LA-HIDTA extends from Santa Catalina Island, located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 25 miles offshore, in the West to the Arizona and Nevada borders in the East. The Southern region of the LA-HIDTA is some 90 miles from the United States/Mexico border. All types of narcotics are manufactured, imported and distributed within the LA-HIDTA and beyond.

Sea Threat—The Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach is the 3rd busiest seaport in the world—Busiest in the United States - 5 million containers annually—213 miles of shoreline.

Air Threat—The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognizes 3 international, 94 municipal, and 3 seaplane airports within the LA-HIDTA region. The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the 5th busiest passenger airport in the world—60 million passengers annually—2nd busiest in the United States for cargo—2.11 million tons annually.

Land Threat—The land threat from the South is perhaps the most obvious where large quantities of illegal drugs are bought North on the major highways of the region. Again, the Southern region of the LA-HIDTA is some 90 miles off of the U.S./Mexico Border.

Indigenous—The indigenous harvesting of marijuana in the nearby mountains and the continuing numbers of PCP manufacturing and distribution systems pose a significant threat to our region. Inside the metropolitan and rural areas, numerous clandestine (large and small-scale) methamphetamine labs continue to proliferate.

Strategy Abstract:

The Executive Committee presently has eighteen voting members representing a working partnership of the major Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies that operate in the LA-HIDTA region. The LA-HIDTA Executive Committee and its three subcommittees continue to take a very active and positive role in determining the strategy, priorities and overall direction of the LA-HIDTA. As a result of their input and guidance, the on-going effort on the part of all initiatives continues to be enhanced through mutual cooperation and teamwork.

The goals of the LA-HIDTA specifically focus on the dismantling and /or disrupting of major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that operate in and through the region with a primary focus on cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. The LA-HIDTA was originally designated as one of the Nations "major narcotic gateways", a distinction which is most evident and holds true to this day.

In FY 2000, this HIDTA consists of six major task forces, comprised of collocated federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, three intelligence projects, which comprise the Intelligence Support System (ISS) and five critical support initiatives each dedicated to the task of positively impacting the major drug trafficking problems that continue to face our geographic region and country.

LA-HIDTA Strategy—Design / Planning—The Strategy for the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area is developed in close concert with all of our enforcement and intelligence initiatives. At all levels of this rather dynamic process, we take into account both law enforcement missions / resources and the overall narcotics trafficking and money laundering threat in our region.

To assist in the process of ensuring that the Strategy adequately addresses the threat, a rather unique system of "backward planning" is utilized. This plan brings together our various LA-HIDTA law enforcement and intelligence disciplines for the duel purpose of validating the various Strategy elements and establishing individual priorities and achievement goals. By combining the individual projected goals, the objectives of the Strategy are identified, and agreed upon, to include both expected outputs and desired outcomes.

Investigative Support Center:

LA-HIDTA Intelligence Support System (ISS):

Intelligence Architecture Plan—This plan redefines the intelligence responsibilities and priorities within the LA-HIDTA, effectively "bringing together" our intelligence projects (Los Angeles joint Drug Intelligence Group; Los Angeles County Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse; and Inland Narcotics Clearing House) into what today is called the Intelligence Support System (ISS). It brings a much-needed working memorandum of understanding between intelligence initiatives, enhanced lines of communication, and clear definitive lines of responsibility.

Additionally, the process brings an enhanced level of intelligence service to the LA-HIDTA law enforcement community. The intelligence initiatives of the LA-HIDTA work to provide the most recent institutional drug intelligence and on developing new viable sources. Additionally they provide deconfliction, pointer index, case support, target profiles, intelligence fusion, and predictive analysis to the entire law enforcement community in our region.

War Room / Intelligence Watch Center—The War Room provides "real time" operational and tactical intelligence support by tracking, around-the-clock, all Federal, State and local law enforcement undercover operations within the four county region known as the LA-HIDTA. On-site Intelligence Analysts are available to immediately research the various law enforcement intelligence databases thus enabling officers to conduct enhanced narcotic investigations conduct enhanced narcotic investigations.

The War Room and Intelligence Watch Center, during CY 1999 handled some 209,122 database inquiries, a 5.0% increase over last years activity.

Critical Event Tracking—In CY 1999, the War Room tracked 15,751 Critical Events, an increase of 12% over last year. This number included 3,888 deconflictions (24.7%—one out of every four critical events) wherein various law enforcement undercover operations are notified when they are about to conflict with each other for a number of reasons.

Initiatives that were approved to implement the 2000 LA-HIDTA Strategy include:

Task Forces / Enforcement Initiatives:

  1. Southern California Drug Task Force (SCDTF)—Recognized as the "cornerstone" of the LA-HIDTA, the Southern California Drug Task Force is a collocated, multi-agency, integrated task force with a table of organization comprised of personnel from some 21 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the lead agency of this nationally recognized counter narcotic enforcement effort.

    The United States Customs Service Initiative plays a critical law enforcement role in direct support of the LA-HIDTA by collocating agents at the Southern California Drug Task Force for the purpose of pursuing large scale drug smuggling and money laundering organizations that operate on a national and international level.

    The Internal Revenue Service Initiative assigns Special Agents to the SCDTF with a responsibility for developing and working with money laundering and financial cases.

    The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service has assigned Special Agents to the SCDTF with the responsibility of supporting HIDTA Initiatives by addressing all INS issues and violations related to narcotics trafficking by documented and undocumented foreign nationals.

    Mission: Within the LA-HIDTA region, they have the primary objective of conducting long term, complex investigations targeting major narcotics trafficking organizations that operate on a regional, national and international level.
  2. Inland Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team (IRNET)—The Inland Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team is a collocated, multi-agency task force comprised of personnel from 9 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

    Mission: They have a primary mission of targeting major narcotic dealers and money launders that operate in and through the LA-HIDTA inland empire region of San Bernardino.

  3. Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (LA-IMPACT)—The Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force is a multi-agency, collocated task force and is comprised of officers and agents representing some 38 various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in the region.

    Mission: LA-IMPACT targets, investigates and prosecutes individuals who organize, direct, finance, or otherwise engage in medium-to-high level drug trafficking enterprises. They place a high priority on those subjects engaged in the importation of drugs into the LA-HIDTA area of Los Angeles County, and to interdict such illicit supply lines and seize their drugs.

  4. Regional Narcotics Suppression Program (RNSP)—Established in 1986, the Regional Narcotics Suppression Program is collocated and multi-agency task force being comprised of personnel from some 14 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

    Mission: This cooperative effort is aimed specifically at major narcotic traffickers and money launders operating in and through the Southern California area which makes up the Orange /Los Angeles HIDTA region.

  5. Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA)—The Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force is a multi-agency, collocated task force comprised of personnel from 13 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

    Mission: Operating with a focus in the Riverside County area of the LA-HIDTA, their primary mission is to target major Colombian and Mexican cartels. They have a secondary mission of heroin and marijuana interdiction.

  6. Regional Methamphetamine Task Force (RMTF)—The Regional Methamphetamine Task Force is a multi-agency, collocated, coordinated effort with the two primary centers comprised of personnel from some 23 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It is designed to serve the extremely diverse methamphetamine enforcement / intelligence needs of the entire four county Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

    Divided into two regional coordinated efforts, one serving Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the other serving Riverside and San Bernardino, the single purpose of the Methamphetamine Strike Force is to systematically attack the methamphetamine manufacturers and trafficking organizations that operate in our region, on a local and national level. This creative and innovative effort is designed to positively impact the problem at three distinct levels: (1) Rogue precursor chemical companies; (2) Major Mexican manufacturing / distribution organizations; and (3) "stove top" operations.

    Mission: Operating with a focus throughout the entire LA-HIDTA region, the primary mission of the Methamphetamine Regional Strike Force is to target major methamphetamine production and distribution organizations, investigate and seize methamphetamine laboratories, and target chemical companies that illegally sell precursor chemicals. Additionally, it is their mission to improve the quality of life for all citizens, regionally and nationally.

  7. United States Marshals Service—The United States Marshal's Service operates an LA-HIDTA Initiative with a very specific focus of targeting and arresting Federal fugitives who are members of significant narcotic trafficking organizations that have committed crimes of violence in our region and beyond. They work in close concert with all of the LA-HIDTA Task Forces on matters of mutual concern and are collocated with the State of California, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Fugitive Detail; Drug Enforcement Administration; California State Parole; and the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Intelligence Support System (ISS):

  8. Los Angeles Joint Drug Intelligence Group (LAJDIG)—The LAJDIG has a primary responsibility of providing long term operational and strategic intelligence to all participating law enforcement agencies operating within the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Specifically, to provide intelligence work products that will initiate, enhance, and support the identification and dismantling of the most significant drug trafficking organizations operating in the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area. The major components are: Case Support; Post Seizure Analysis; Threat Assessment Lead; and Toll & Cross Case Analysis; Federal Intelligence Data Systems; Asian Crime; Organizational Studies; and Mexican/Colombian/ Southwest Border Projects.

    Support Teams—In order to best meet the intelligence needs of the various federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the LA-HIDTA region, the LAJDIG assigns the various service requests to "Support Teams" each of which, by design, has specific areas of focus and expertise.

  9. Los Angeles County Criminal Information Clearinghouse (LACRCIC)—The mission of the Los Angeles County Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse (LACRCIC) is to produce and provide intelligence products, enhanced information sharing, and advanced systems technology to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in order to ensure officer safety and enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness.

    The LACRCIC represents a unified effort to develop an innovative and progressive information management system in support of law enforcement narcotic enforcement operations in the LA-HIDTA region. The system uses advanced technology and skilled professionals to maximize the ability of counterdrug law enforcement to manage and share critical information. The critical elements of this initiative are: The 24-hour War Room and

    Intelligence Watch Center, the Research and Analysis Unit, the Special Operations Center and the Statewide Integrated Narcotics System (SINS).

    War Room / Information Unit Activity—The War Room provides "real time" operational and tactical intelligence support by tracking, around-the-clock, all federal, state and local law enforcement undercover operations within the four county region known as the LA-HIDTA. On-site Intelligence Analysts are available to immediately research various law enforcement intelligence databases thus enabling officers to conduct enhanced narcotic investigations.

    Analytical and Research Unit—In the LA-HIDTA region, this unit supports drug enforcement operations, tracks potential threats to officer safety, manages and analyzes case information and drug trafficking activities and prepares cases for prosecution. They provide support through Telephone Toll Analysis, Analytical Case Support, Operational Intelligence Programs, Officer Safety Bulletins, Post Seizure Analysis and Asian Crime Analysis.

    Special Operations Center—The LACRCIC has established a Special Operations Center that is designed to support major law enforcement operations - in particular, electronic surveillance (wiretap). The center employs state-of-the-art automated information management systems (SINS) and electronic surveillance equipment and is configured to house and support an on-site staff of investigators and analysts for the duration of any special investigation/operation.

    Statewide Integrated Narcotics System (SINS)—The LACRCIC, as a major component of the Statewide Integrated Narcotics System operating in support of the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the LA-HIDTA region. The Clearinghouse, in conjunction with the Western States Information Network (WISN), San Diego/Imperial County Narcotics Information Network (NIN) and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, form a statewide, state-of-the-art intelligence narcotic information network with connectivity through the Southwest Border States Anti-drug Information System to intelligence data bases in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

  10. Inland Narcotics Clearing House (INCH)—Located at the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Special Investigations Bureau, the INCH has a two fold support mission within the LA-HIDTA: (1) Provide narcotic related analytical support to all law enforcement agencies and multi-agency task forces within the Inland Empire which is comprised of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties; (2) Provide the necessary hardware and communications connectivity to the Statewide Integrated Narcotics System (SINS) and act as a local processing site for the transfer of SINS based information between Sacramento, the LA Clearinghouse and the several agencies within the Inland Empire with SINS workstations.

    The role of INCH is geared toward providing case specific analytical support by taking drug intelligence information from submitting investigators and manipulating that data into a usable format. This format is usually some graphical representation of the information which when processed is turned back to the initial investigator for appropriate dissemination. INCH is a support unit and does not actively seek out new intelligence or develop intelligence sources. These capabilities within the LA-HIDTA remain with both the LAJDIG and LACRCIC . Their support systems serve the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino as follows: Operates as a Support Unit; Case Support; and Toll and Cross Case Analysis.

    Critical Support Initiative:

  11. Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office—The Los Angeles County District Attorney collocates a full-time Deputy District Attorney to serve both the Southern California Drug Task Force (SCDTF) and Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (LA-IMPACT) for the purpose of providing tactical, legal strategies, and counsel pertaining to major drug related investigations. Additionally, this person is immediately available to prepare and obtain search warrants, State wiretap orders, court orders, and to facilitate telephonic or facsimile search warrants around-the-clock, seven days a week.

Outcomes:

A Leading Concept"Team of Task Forces"—The collocated, multi-jurisdictional, networked, ONDCP funded "team" of task forces (SCDTF, LA-IMPACT, IRNET, RNSP, INCA, and RMTF) are further enhanced through a working Memorandum of Understanding, signed by all task force directors, which remains very successful in its design of facilitating a closer cooperative effort and more unified approach leading to successful case resolutions. This remarkable cooperative effort is unparalleled throughout the Country.

Intelligence Support System—The Intelligence Support System (ISS), which is comprised of the LACRCIC, LAJDIG, and INCH, is aligned through a cooperative partnership identified though an approved matrix of responsibilities and associated Memorandum of Agreement. Unique in the entire country, a memorandum of understanding amongst these intelligence initiatives identifies definitive lines of responsibility, enhances lines of communication and affords an enhanced level of service to the LA-HIDTA law enforcement community. Components within the LA-HIDTA ISS provide responsive 24/7 day deconfliction, pointer index, case support, post seizure analysis, target profiles, organizational identification, intelligence fusion, special support services (electronic surveillance), and training.

Annual Threat Assessment—A Unique Process -The LA-HIDTA continues to be successful in moving the Annual Threat Assessment process forward by establishing a periodic review beginning with the baseline, continuing with a mid-year evaluation, and ending with the year-end review and impact assessment. This periodic review resulted in changes being made to the threat assessment as new data is received.

A LA-HIDTA Threat Assessment "window" (January 1, through December 31) has been established and it is within this "time frame" that the Threat Assessment, Strategy, and Annual Report process will focus and against which the impact of law enforcement in our region will be measured each year.

Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Handling Deconfliction Services for Both the Central Valley and Northern California HIDTA's—In CY 1999, the Los Angeles County Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse (LACRCIC) was selected by the Executive Committee's of both the Central Valley HIDTA and Northern California HIDTA to handle all of their deconfliction events. This concept means that the LA-HIDTA is handling the deconfliction services for some 24 counties (41.4% - 24 out of 58) within the State of California. The combining of regional law enforcement resources such as this, in order to successfully address major drug trafficking issues, truly speaks to the very essence of the ONDCP National HIDTA Program.

In the entire State of California, the LACRCIC "War Room" is quite unique in that it can provide complete deconfliction and intelligence services on a 24 hours a day, 7 days-a-week schedule. This most remarkable "consolidation of effort" speaks extremely well to the overall capabilities and ultimate design of the LA-HIDTA deconfliction process and the implementation of this "cost saving" process with the other two HIDTA's became fully operational during the first part of CY 2000.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, United States Attorney's Office, United States Customs Service, the United States Marshals Service, Department of Defense, Joint Task Force Six

State: California National Guard; State of California, Alcoholic Beverage Control, State of California, Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, State of California, Highway Patrol; and the California State Parole

Local: Alhambra Police Department, Anaheim Police Department, Arcadia Police Department, Azusa Police Department, Baldwin Park Police Department, Beaumont Police Department, Bell Gardens Police Department, Brea Police Department, Buena Park Police Department, Burbank Police Department, Chino Police Department, Claremount Police Department, Colton Police Department, Corona Police Department, Costa Mesa Police Department, Covina Police Department, Culver City Police Department, Downey Police Department, El Monte Police Department, El Segundo Police Department, Fontana Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, Gardena Police Department, Garden Grove Police Department, Glendale Police Department, Glendora Police Department, Hawthorne Police Department, Hemet Police Department, Hermosa Beach Police Department, Huntington Beach Police Department, Inglewood Police Department, Laguna Beach Police Department, La Habra Police Department, LaVerne Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, Los Angeles County Probation Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Manhattan Beach Police Department, Monrovia Police Department, Montebello Police Department, Monterey Park Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, Orange County Probation Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Ontario Police Department, Palm Springs Police Department, Pasadena Police Department, Redlands Police Department, Redondo Beach Police Department, Rialto Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Riverside Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department, San Bernardino County Probation Department, San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, San Gabriel Police Department, South Gate Police Department, Torrance Police Department, Tustin Police Department, UCLA Police Department, Vernon Police Department, West Covina Police Department, Westminister Police Department, Victorville Police Department, Whittier Police Department

Other: Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and the State of California, Department of Justice, Western States Information Network

Information is provided by the Los Angeles HIDTA.

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