Louisiana US attorneys, DOJ announce $42M in funding to combat meth, opioids

Louisiana US attorneys, DOJ announce $42M in funding to combat meth, opioids

U.S. attorneys in Louisiana, joined with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to announce funding that would support state-level law enforcement agencies combat the illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamines, synthetic opioids, and prescription opioids.

The funding comes from two sources of funding within the COPS Office. One, a $29.7 million grant program awarded to 14 state law enforcement task forces through the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program, provides three years of funding directly to state-level agencies with multijurisdictional reach and interdisciplinary structures in states with high per capita rates of primary treatment admission for opioid use disorder. The funding is used to support the investigation into illicit activities related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or prescription opioids.

The second, a $12 million grant program through the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program, is given to state agencies that have demonstrated seizures of methamphetamine labs, materials, and dumpsites. These agencies also receive three years of funding to support investigation into illicit activities related to the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamines.

U.S. Attorneys Brandon J. Fremin, Middle District of Louisiana, Peter G. Strasser, Eastern District of Louisiana, and David C. Joseph, Western District of Louisiana, announced that the Louisiana State Police Department received nearly $3 million in funding from the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.

“This funding is a tremendous boost enabling the Louisiana State Police to enhance their efforts in combatting opioid-related issues across the state. This grant serves as another demonstration of the Department’s commitment to support law enforcement’s front line efforts in protecting the communities they serve,” Fremin said.

Other Anti-Heroin Task Force award winners were $931,880 to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency at Augusta and nearly $4 million to the Massachusetts State Police Department, among others. Winners of the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine program grants included $1 million each to Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

The DOJ says the program works. Between October 2019 and February 2020, grant recipients reported that they had seized more than $11 million in cash and nearly 2,800 firearms.

“The scourge of opioid and methamphetamine use continues to take a devastating toll on our nation’s communities,” COPS Office Director Phil Keith said. “By providing these resources to law enforcement to help combat the further spread, the COPS Office is demonstrating our commitment to this Administration’s priority of reducing drug use and protecting our citizens from this public health and safety crisis.”