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New England HIDTA

Mission Statement: The New England HIDTA, (NEHIDTA) through multi-agency collocated and commingled initiatives, strives to identify, disrupt and dismantle the Colombian and Dominican drug trafficking and money laundering organizations that are operating in New England. The NEHIDTA increases citizen safety by reducing the availability of illicit drugs and preventing drug related violence in New England and other parts of the United States.

General Information:
Year of Designation: 1999
Geographic Area of Responsibility:
Massachusetts: Suffolk, Essex, Worcester, Plymouth, and Hampden counties
Connecticut: Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven counties
Rhode Island: Providence County
Vermont: Chittenden County
Maine: Cumberland County
New Hampshire: Hillsborough County
Contact: (617) 748-3124

Threat Abstract

The New England HIDTA (NEHIDTA) was designated in 1999 due in part to the high purity heroin found throughout New England and the criminal groups trafficking heroin and crack cocaine from New York to New England. The most significant threat confronting the NEHIDTA is the transportation of drugs from sources of supply in New York to New England. Consequently, it is the major concentration of efforts for the NEHIDTA. In addition, the thousands of miles of coastline and the vast, desolate, U.S./Canadian border provides extensive opportunities for drug smuggling into the New England Region.

Every state in New England, and in particular the twelve designated NEHIDTA counties, are experiencing an unprecedented rise in heroin related deaths and hospital emergency department admissions for overdoses. The Drug Abuse Warning Network statistics for heroin/morphine related episodes in Boston, MA have more than doubled since 1991. Powder and crack cocaine are readily available throughout New England. In some cases, they are distributed by the same criminal groups distributing heroin. The transportation and distribution of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine is accomplished by Colombian and Dominican criminal groups primarily from New York. There is also intelligence information of a possible link between New England and the Mexican Border criminal groups for direct shipments of cocaine.

The NEHIDTA will also target and investigate those criminal groups responsible for the laundering of illegal profits derived from the distribution of heroin and cocaine.

Strategy Abstract:

The New England HIDTA recently completed its first year of operations. The NEHIDTA is a six state HIDTA and the coordination and integration of the task forces and synchronization of law enforcement operations is very complex and critical to the HIDTA's success. The Executive Committee provides outstanding guidance and support for the NEHIDTA initiatives and, with the Director and Staff, are the command and control of the NEHIDTA. The NEHIDTA is supported by representatives from over eighty federal, state and local agencies.

The strategy for the NEHIDTA is to target the flow of drugs from New York into New England, with an initial focus of high-purity heroin and cocaine. The transportation of drugs from New York is a problem shared by all of the New England states. Successfully attacking this transportation system will thereby help reduce the impact of illicit drugs and related violent criminal activity in the entire region. The initiatives of the NEHIDTA support ONCDP's National Drug Control Strategy and, in particular, Goal 2, which addresses the need to increase the safety of American's citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime violence.

The New England HIDTA developed a cohesive and comprehensive program combining regional and state specific initiatives. The NEHIDTA's initiatives focus on reducing and disrupting the flow of drugs along the pipeline. To accomplish this, the NEHIDTA will coordinate thirteen (13) initiatives in FY 2001. These initiatives are organized into and support four (4) counter-drug subsystems, with each subsystem integral to the success of the NEHIDTA.

Investigative Support Center:

An integral component in the New England HIDTA Strategy is the need to enhance and increase the free exchange of intelligence/information among all HIDTA participants, other agencies throughout the area and nationally. The Investigative Support Center (ISC) will provide event and case deconfliction for officer safety and enhanced intelligence; strategic intelligence for targeting and resource allocation; and in-service analytical intelligence and other training. The Watch center will provide law enforcement, throughout the New England region, with immediate access to "one stop shopping" of law enforcement and other databases.

The New England HIDTA will attempt to dramatically improve the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence/information by instituting a "systems network" of sharing throughout the area. The NEHIDTA will coordinate this effort with national intelligence centers such as the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) as well as NESPIN on a regional level. Partnerships will also be developed with other northeast HIDTA's such as the New York/New Jersey HIDTA, a source area for much of the drugs brought into New England. The ISC will be operational in early 2001.

Initiatives that were approved to implement the 2000 New England HIDTA Strategy include:

  1. Southern New England HIDTA Task Force (CT)—this is a collocated task force that is concentrating on mid level to major traffickers in the Fairfield county area of Connecticut and will be comprised of federal, state and local investigators in Bridgeport, CT.
  2. Southern New England Street Sweep Initiative(CT)—this is a multi-agency task force that targets violent narcotic traffickers in the Fairfield and New Haven counties of Connecticut. This task force will target those criminal groups whose activities negatively impact quality of life issues in the neighborhoods and communities in these counties.
  3. Bradley Airport Transportation Group (CT)—this task force is led by the Connecticut State Police, and is staffed by special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Customs Service. This interdiction task force will concentrate on cargo shipments containing drugs and general airport enforcement programs.
  4. Northeast New England HIDTA Task Force (ME)—this task force is located in Portland, ME and is a multi-agency, collocated task force. This task force is targeting core and secondary heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine criminal distribution organizations.
  5. New England HIDTA Financial Task Force (MA)—this task force is led by the U.S. Customs Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. It is staffed with Customs and IRS special agents, Massachusetts State Police and Boston Police Department detectives. This task force is identifying, investigating and prosecuting large scale money laundering organizations in New England and internationally.
  6. Greater Boston Task Force (MA)—led by the FBI, this multi-agency, collocated task force will target mid to upper level criminal organizations in the Greater Boston area. This initiative also manages a smaller task force in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
  7. Central Massachusetts Task Force (MA)—this task force is led by the DEA and consists of federal, state and local investigators targeting widespread criminal organizations in Central Massachusetts.
  8. Northern New England HIDTA Task Force (NH)—established in Manchester, New Hampshire this DEA led, collocated state, federal and local task force investigates core and secondary drug distributors in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.
  9. Rhode Island HIDTA Task Force (RI)—the Rhode Island HIDTA Task Force is an FBI led, multi-agency task force that is co-managed by the FBI and Rhode Island State Police. This task force will primarily target violators in the greater Providence, Rhode Island area.
  10. Providence County HIDTA Transportation Task Force (RI)—this task force is DEA led and is working in the major rail, bus and airport terminals, as well as cargo terminals and express package delivery services. This interdiction task force was established to intercept and seize illicit drugs and currency derived from criminal activities.
  11. Northern Vermont HIDTA Task Force (VT)—this DEA led, multi-agency task force will concentrate its efforts in the greater Burlington, VT area and will target mid to upper level criminal organizations.

Outcomes:

The establishment of the New England HIDTA, by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in June 1999, has enabled the law enforcement agencies in New England to create an Investigative Support Center (ISC), a drug control strategy and initiatives that will truly serve law enforcement's needs in the 21st century. The ISC, by providing event and case deconfliction will ensure officer safety and eliminate duplication of effort. Case support will be available to law enforcement agencies throughout New England and "one stop shopping" to a wide range of law enforcement and commercial databases will become a reality. Seizure analysis, threat assessments and "real time" intelligence information will enable law enforcement to successfully attack, disrupt and dismantle the violent criminal organizations.

New task forces have been created where none previously existed and many others have been significantly enhanced with NEHIDTA resources. The law enforcement executives on the Executive Committee and the Director and Staff are the command and control for drug law enforcement and prosecution in New England. This unified approach in the New England region enables law enforcement executives from federal, state and local agencies to develop a regional threat assessment and determine a strategy to attack the drug trafficking organizations. Two NEHIDTA initiatives are co-managed with supervisors from federal and state agencies and all task forces are collocated, multi-agency cooperative ventures. Training will be provided on a regional basis, which will create new partnerships, strengthen existing partnerships and provide a neutral ground for the exchange of intelligence information and investigative leads. The NEHIDTA's Executive Committee, Investigative Support Center and Initiatives are providing the leadership and support for a unified and focused attack on violent, drug trafficking and money laundering organizations in New England and other regions.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Housing and Urban Development, Inspector General's Office, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Department of Defense Joint Task Force Six, United States Attorney's for New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, United States Coast Guard, United States Customs Service, United States Marshals for Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, United States Postal Service, and United States Secret Service

State: Connecticut State Police, Connecticut National Guard, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Maine State Police, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Massachusetts National Guard, New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire National Guard, New Hampshire Attorney General's Drug Task Force, Rhode Island State Police, Rhode National Guard, Vermont State Police, Vermont National Guard

Local: Auburn, MA Police Department, Boston, MA Police Department, Bridgeport, CT Police Department, Brighton, ME Police Department, Bristol, CT Police Department, Brockton, MA Police Department, Chelsea, MA Police Department, Cranston, RI Police Department, Easton, CT Police Department, East Haven, CT Police Department, Enfield, CT Police Department, Essex County, MA Sheriff's Department, Fitchburg, MA Police Department, Framingham, MA Police Department, Franklin, MA Police Department, Greenwich, CT Police Department, Hamden, MA Police Department, Hartford, CT, Police Department, Hopkinton, RI Police Department, Lawrence, MA Police Department, Leominster, MA Police Department, Lowell, MA Police Department, Lynn, MA Police Department, Madison, CT Police Department, Manchester, NH Police Department, Methuen, MA Police Department, Milford, CT Police Department, Milford, MA Police Department, Nashua, NH Police Department, New Britain, CT Police Department, Newburyport, MA Police Department, New Haven, CT Police Department, North Andover, MA Police Department, Norwalk, CT Police Department, Orange, CT Police Department, Pawtucket, RI Police Department, Portland, ME Police Department, Providence, RI Police Department, Southbridge, MA Police Department, Southington, CT Police Department, South Burlington, VT Police Department, South Portland, ME Police Department, Stamford, CT Police Department, Stratford, CT Police Department, Warwick, RI Police Department, Webster, MA Police Department Westbrook, ME Police Department, Westerly, RI Police Department, West Haven, CT Police Department, Woodbridge, CT Police Department, Woonsocket, RI Police Department, Worcester, MA Police Department

Other: State Medical Examiners, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island

Information is provided by the New England HIDTA

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