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Oregon HIDTA

Mission Statement: The mission of the Oregon HIDTA Program is to improve the livability of Oregon and other states by substantially and measurably reducing drug-related crime, violence, and drug trafficking.

General Information:
Year of Designation: 1999
Geographic Area of Responsibility:
Oregon: Deschutes, Jackson, and Marion counties
Contact: (503) 378-5123 and charles.karl@doj.state.or.us

Threat Abstract:

The Oregon HIDTA was designated in 1999. Oregon is ranked tenth in the nation for total land area with 97,060 square miles. The geography ranges from coastal to high desert separated by mountain ranges. The state includes 27.5 million acres of forested land, 889 square miles of inland water areas, and 296 miles of coastline.

Interstate 5, Interstate 84, and US highways 97 and 20 are major ground transportation routes into and through Oregon. The three Oregon counties (Deschutes, Jackson, and Marion) that comprise the HIDTA are geographically situated in the State to counter drug trafficking and smuggling. Identified drug trafficking organizations with links to Mexico and Central America are responsible for the majority of illegal methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana imported into Oregon and have dominated the illegal drug market. Recently, there has been an increase in the smuggling of high-grade marijuana from British Columbia (known as B.C. Bud) into, and through Oregon.

The primary illegal drugs of abuse in order of usage are marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. Oregon drug traffickers produce marijuana, methamphetamine, and psilocybin mushrooms for exportation to other areas of the country. The Oregon geography provides concealment for clandestine methamphetamine labs, smuggling activities, and marijuana growing operations.

The growing importation, exportation, and manufacture of illegal drugs in Oregon pose a significant threat to the health and safety of Oregon communities, our neighboring states and the rest of the Nation. The 2000 drug abuse trends in Oregon suggest that at least one in nine people are in need of treatment for drug or alcohol problems. This is up from one in 16 people since 1995. While alcohol abuse has declined by 26%, use of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens such as LSD increased by 232% between 1995 and 2000.

Strategy Abstract:

The Oregon HIDTA Executive Committee, composed of federal, state, and local law enforcement and prevention leaders, has approved a counterdrug strategy that is intended to enhance the impact and effectiveness of federal, state, and local law enforcement task forces in the HIDTA counties and implement the National Drug Control Strategy.

Multi-agency counter-drug strategies, and memorandums of understanding, have been developed by each HIDTA County and initiatives proposed to implement the strategies. These enforcement efforts target identified drug trafficking organizations and specific high level offenders in order to seriously disrupt or curtail their smuggling, manufacturing, and distribution activities. Priority is given to the manufacturing, smuggling, and distribution, of methamphetamine, marijuana, and designer drugs, and the smuggling and distribution of heroin and cocaine.

Specific elements of the strategy, which will lead to increased enforcement capacity are: The availability and accessibility of full time dedicated crime analysts to support task force investigations, increased investigator access to criminal intelligence on a statewide and national basis through a secure computer network, case and event deconfliction services to task forces and other law enforcement agencies on a statewide and national basis through a secure computer network and Watch Center, the availability and accessibility of full time dedicated federal/state prosecutors to prosecute, consult with, and support task force investigators on racketeering, money laundering, or other drug trafficking conspiracy cases.

Other value-added HIDTA resources that enhance task force investigative and interdiction capacities and effectiveness include specialized operational training to task force investigators, specialized equipment, and additional investigative funds.

Investigative Support Center:

The Oregon HIDTA Investigative Support Center is the central, priority, initiative for the Oregon HIDTA Program and serves as an information exchange and coordination umbrella for federal, state, and local law enforcement in the HIDTA counties. When completed within the next year, it will provide secure electronic connectivity between all HIDTAs and law enforcement agencies, statewide and nationwide through RISS.NET.

The key role of the HIDTA Investigative Support Center is to promote and facilitate the sharing and coordination of criminal intelligence between law enforcement agencies and to support HIDTA enforcement initiatives. This is done by either personal staff and analyst involvement and contact, by phone contact, or via a secure computer networking system (RISS.NET) amongst all of the participating law enforcement agencies, the HIDTA task forces, and the HIDTA ISC. This web-enabled, secure, network and associated computer enhancements include access to the Oregon Statewide Criminal Intelligence Database, a Case Management System, Geo-Event and Case Deconfliction, a Watch Center, full time dedicated analytical case support personnel, and access to multiple federal, state, and local databases nationwide for investigative research.

The Oregon HIDTA Investigative Support Center provides target research, flow-charting, threat assessments and area studies, training, deconfliction and Watch Center services, direct case support (including audio/visual surveillance and enhancement), phone toll and link analysis, technical and operational surveillance support, computerized mapping and presentations.

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

  1. Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Task Force—a collocated multi-agency task force dedicated to the dismantling and disruption of identified drug trafficking organizations manufacturing, smuggling, or distributing illegal drugs in Central Oregon.
  2. Jackson County Narcotics Enforcement Team—a collocated multi-agency task force dedicated to the dismantling and disruption of identified drug trafficking organizations manufacturing, smuggling, or distributing illegal drugs in Southern Oregon and on Interstate 5 which runs from Mexico to Canada.
  3. Salem Area Interagency Narcotics Team—a collocated multi-agency task force dedicated to the dismantling and disruption of identified drug trafficking organizations manufacturing, smuggling, or distributing illegal drugs in Marion County and on Interstate 5.
  4. Oregon HIDTA Investigative Support Center—a collocated multi-agency facility whose mission is to promote, facilitate, and coordinate the exchange of criminal intelligence information, provide analytical support, and to enhance officer safety through deconfliction for the designated HIDTA counties.
  5. Oregon HIDTA Management and Administration—this is the Oregon HIDTA Program management unit composed of the Oregon HIDTA Director, Administrative Assistant, and Computer Systems Manager. The duties include fiscal and programmatic oversight on behalf of the Oregon HIDTA Executive Committee as well as training coordination for all of the Oregon HIDTA Program.

Outcomes:

The HIDTA Program has enabled the drug enforcement task forces to become more efficient and effective by expanding their case capacity and multi-agency partnerships. They will be able to investigate and prosecute more complex cases due to the addition of full time, collocated cross-designated federal/state prosecutors, specialized equipment acquistions, the establishment of a secure computer network with connectivity to the Investigative Support Center, the ability to move, expand, and improving their operational facilities, the addition of a drug dog for interdiction and search warrant applications, and by the infusion of additional investigative operational funds not currently available.

The HIDTA Program has enabled the deployment of a secure, web-enabled, computer network and full-time crime analysts to the HIDTA county law enforcement task forces and agencies. This computer network, when fully deployed, will provide secure electronic connectivity county wide, statewide, and nationwide. It will dramatically increase the immediate availability of criminal intelligence regarding drug traffickers to field officers. None of these investigative enhancements would have been possible without HIDTA funding.

The net effect of the added HIDTA resources and the new multi-agency partnerships will result in more intense pressure on drug traffickers, more arrests, more seizures, more prosecutions, less demand for drugs, and less drug related crimes and violence.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Internal Revenue Service, United States Attorney's Office, United States Coast Guard, United States Customs Service, United State Forest Service

State: Oregon State Department of Justice, Oregon State District Attorney's Association, Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon State Police

Local: Ashland Police Department, Aumsville Police Department, Aurora Police Department, Bend Police Department, Central Point Police Department, Deschutes County District Attorney's Office, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Hubbard Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County District Attorney's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Josephine County Sheriff's Office, Keizer Police Department, Madras Police Department, Marion County District Attorney's Office, Marion County Sheriff's Office, Medford Police Department, Mt. Angel Police Department, Prineville Police Department, Redmond Police Department, Salem Police Department, Silverton Police Department, Stayton Police Department, Turner Police Department, Warm Springs Tribal Police Department, Woodburn Police Department

Other: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs Association of Oregon, Oregon State Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs

Information is provided by the Oregon HIDTA.

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