News Releases

Senator Patty Murray today announced that the Office of Nation Drug Policy has sent three separate grants totaling $645,000 to Washington state to continue the fight against drug trafficking around the state. The funds come as part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, which today dispersed a total of nearly $16 million to offices around the country.

"Washington state is being ravaged by the influx of B.C. bud and meth, but hopefully these additional funds will help our law enforcement community turn the tide in this ongoing battle to protect our families and children," Murray said.

All of the money will go to the Northwest HIDTA for use in the three separate programs. Murray fought to include the funding as part of the Office of National Drug Policy's budget in the Transportation, Treasury and General Government Appropriations bill. Murray is the top Democrat on the Senate panel that writes the bill.

Included below is a full description of the awards announced today:

The Northwest HIDTA has been awarded $150,000 to pursue mid-level drug traffickers in the City of Yakima, WA, through a program entitled “Disrupting the Drug Markets through Accelerated Arrests”. Yakima is one of several cities throughout the country that has been selected by the Office of National Drug Control Policy to test this enforcement initiative. A steering committee will be formed to include city, county and state law enforcement officers, federal agents and county and federal prosecutors to direct this program.

The Northwest HIDTA has also been awarded $250,000 under the “Domestic Highway Interdiction Program.” With this funding, the NW HIDTA will enhance efforts of Federal, State, tribal and local law enforcement highway interdiction efforts in a three-pronged approach including interdiction along the US/Canada border, major highways in the Spokane/Yakima corridor to include the I-90 corridor to Idaho and Montana, and the Washington I-5 corridor from Canada to Oregon. Funding will allow overtime funds up to the annual federal maximum rate for all agencies/units participating in HIDTA interdiction programs; overtime funds for WSP SHCAT units will be pooled and made available for WSP K9 related calls for service and for special interdiction operations; additional funding will be made available for K9 training and proficiency. Funds may be used to purchase laptop computers (to include air cards) for RISS access from SHCAT patrol cards.

Finally, the Northwest HIDTA has been awarded $245,000 for Consolidated Priority Organization Target funding. The CPOT/OCDETF investigation-led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Blaine, Washington-will target members of an international marijuana distribution organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The organization is responsible for distributing marijuana all over the United States. With $245,000 in added funding, the Northwest HIDTA will enhance the CPOT investigation that focuses on the high-value target in Canada and the northwest United States. The target uses a number of sophisticated techniques to evade law enforcement, and this investigation will utilize funds to purchase evidence and information, allow for the overtime and travel of investigators, and enhance the technical equipment available to attack this organization.