Western Pennsylvania Counties To Receive Additional Funding To Combat Drug Trafficking Through HIDTA Program
By: John A. Schwab
Last Monday, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott W. Brady, announced that three Western Pennsylvania counties will be receiving federal funding relating to combatting drug trafficking and reducing the supply of illegal drugs. The three counties, Allegheny, Beaver and Washington, have been designated by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (“HIDTA”). This designation means that the counties will receive additional resources to coordinate federal, state and local governments in the fight against drug trafficking and abuse.
This was a landmark event as Western Pennsylvania was the only metropolitan area in the United States without HIDTA designated areas. The counties’ designation followed petitions by the District Attorneys for Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties to the White House. The petitions focused on the high level of overdoses in Western Pennsylvania as well as the transit corridors that provide ready access to large metropolitan areas like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Newark.
For the Record
U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady: “We are pleased to receive this surge in funding from the White House. The HIDTA designation for Western Pennsylvania is long overdue. We are at a critical point in the opioid crisis and the President has made clear that failure is not an option. The HIDTA program will expand our law enforcement efforts by providing critical funding to local, state and federal agencies. Through a centralized command structure, we will be able to share information and intelligence so those individuals who are polluting our communities with drugs will be held accountable.”
The Take Away
This area will undoubtedly see increased drug prosecutions – both for street drugs and prescription drugs – due to DOJ’s use of initiatives like the HIDTA program.
If you need assistance in an investigation or with your defense regarding street or prescription drugs, do not hesitate to contact a member of Pietragallo’s Criminal Defense Team. The author of this post, Mr. John Schwab, has over two decades of experience helping individuals navigate and defend again government investigations and prosecution.