Georgia county added to drug intensity traffic area


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recently added Chatham County, Ga., to the Atlanta-Carolinas Region High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The designation means the county will have access to additional federal resources to fight drug trafficking, including opioids and methamphetamine, and abuse. The county, which includes Savannah, is the first in the state outside the metro Atlanta area to receive this designation.

Congress created the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The program assists law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions.

It operates with the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and is administered by the ONDCP.

The Atlanta-Carolinas Region HIDTA includes North Carolina, South Carolina, and multiple counties in the Atlanta area.

“The HIDTA program will advance Chatham County’s efforts to reduce the influence of drug distribution organizations on the community, therefore reducing other violent crimes,” Robert J. Murphy, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Atlanta Division, said. “The goal is simply to diminish the illegal drug market by dismantling violent drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, through law enforcement coordination.”

Congress is finalizing appropriations for new HIDTAs.