Marion Co. to receive federal assistance in fight against drug trafficking

Marion County to receive federal assistance to fight against drug trafficking. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Law enforcement leaders in Marion County are getting a major boost in the fight against drugs. The county will receive federal assistance to help combat drug trafficking.

“We are experiencing a crisis in Marion County in drug dealing, drug distribution, and perhaps a crisis of unprecedented dimension,” said Marion County Prosecutor, Terry Curry.

Marion County joins an already existing network of “high intensity drug trafficking areas” (HIDTA).

The HIDTA designation makes the county eligible for federal assistance through the Obama Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Federal assistance will help pay for things like new equipment and overtime for officers and detectives.

It also enables law enforcement here in Indiana to communicate more efficiently with other departments across the country to spot trends and patterns when it comes to trafficking drugs.

Law enforcement leaders are hoping increased communication will help them spot trends and patterns, ultimately leading them to the source of illegal drugs.

“Don’t expect things to change immediately because it takes time. These are ingrained issues sometimes they are bigger than Indianapolis, but that’s what was the missing point before. Now we have that part that is going to be filled in with HIDTA,” said IMPD Chief, Troy Riggs.

Chief Riggs said his department confiscated more than 100 lbs. of illegal drugs and made more than 1,500 arrests in the last few months. The prosecutor said this program will help police continue those efforts.

“Be clear, this is not a magic bullet and will not be a resolution in and of itself, but it will be an additional significant resource in our collective fight against drug trafficking and related violence being perpetrated in the county,” said Curry.

Senator Joe Donnelly helped the prosecutor’s Office with its application to join this program. Marion County was one of just two major metropolitan communities in the United States that was not already a part of this program.

Right now it’s unclear how much money will go to Marion County specifically, but around $3.3 million dollars will be divided between Marion, Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties through HIDTA.