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 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

In the last three years, the five states that make up the Midwest HIDTA have experienced a phenomenal increase in the importation, distribution, and clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine. The region's central location, numerous interstate highway systems along with its air and rail hubs enhances its popularity as a market for Mexican methamphetamine importation and distribution organizations operating out of the Southwest Border areas. In addition Missouri, Kansas and of late Iowa are seeing an explosion in the clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine by small entrepreneurial users/dealers, primarily utilizing the ephedrine or pseudoephedrine reduction process. The Midwest HIDTA is integral in the strategy employed by each state to reduce methamphetamine importation, distribution, manufacturing and related criminal activity.

In December 1996, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Executive Office of the President of the United States, designated identified counties in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota as the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The Midwest HIDTA encompasses counties designated by ONDCP:

IowA.  Muscatine, Polk, Pottawattamie, Scott, and Woodbury
Kansas: Cherokee, Johnson, Labatte, Leavenworth, Saline, Seward, and Wyandotte
Missouri: Cape Girardeau, Christian, Clay, Jackson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Ray, Scott, St. Charles, and the City of St. Louis
NebraskA. Dakota, Dawson, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster, Scarpy, and Scott's Bluff
South DakotA. Clay Codington, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Lincoln, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Union, and Yankton.

The HIDTA program is not a grant program. While it does offer funding enhancements, HIDTA is designed to produce a shift in the scope of cooperative efforts, operational methods, intelligence sharing, and resource pooling, in the development and implementation of regional strategies and in high value organizational v. individual targeting. HIDTA is an approach to promote investigator safety, reduce duplicative efforts, and increase coordination, collocation, cooperation, and technological advancements.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Midwest HIDTA is to measurably reduce and disrupt the importation, distribution, and clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine in the five state region and other parts of the United States, thereby reducing the impact of illicit drugs and related violent criminal activity. The initiatives of the Midwest HIDTA support ONDCP's National Drug Control Strategy which addresses the need to increase the safety of America's citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime and violence.

The Midwest HIDTA Executive Committee is made up of representatives from ten federal and ten state/local agencies. The Executive Committee provides oversight, policy guidance, review and approval of all initiatives and budgets submitted to ONDCP. The Executive Director provides day-to-day program management and serves as a conduit to the participating states and agencies for directives, policy and related administrative information required by ONDCP, and the Midwest Executive Committee. Each state has selected a State Coordinator who, in conjunction with the State Executive Board, oversees and coordinates the initiatives within each state.

Intelligence Subsystem
An integral component in the Midwest HIDTA Strategy is the need to enhance and increase the free exchange of methamphetamine intelligence and investigative information. The Midwest HIDTA Investigative Support Center (MHISC) will be the mechanism to implement this enhancement. The MHISC is a multi-agency intelligence task force consisting of federal, state, and local agencies located within the five state Midwest HIDTA. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the MIHSC will be electronically linked to a central location in each of the states. The MHISC will collect and analyze information from all Midwest HIDTA task forces and other nonparticipating task forces and agencies. When fully operational, the MHISC will provide multi-source name checks, post seizure analysis, investigative case support, toll analysis, charting, graphic work and trend/predictive analysis. The MIHSC will also provide continual evaluation of the methamphetamine threat to the region, identifying changes in patterns and trends. By improving the exchange of intelligence/information through more efficient coordination and communications, the MHISC will enhance the ability of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to identify, arrest, and prosecute key members of methamphetamine trafficking organizations involved in manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine.

Investigation Subsystem
The Midwest HIDTA Investigative Subsystem focuses on the identification and immobilization of individuals and/or organizations involved in the importation, distribution, and clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine. Where possible collocated HIDTA multi-jurisdictional groups have been formed. In rural counties where resources and manpower are always scarce, HIDTA funding has been utilized to enhance existing multi-agency task force operations. These task forces target the most significant individuals in their area involved in the distribution or clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine, with the goal of developing OCDETF level cases of major organizations. Task forces in areas experiencing significant clandestine manufacturing will also target preferred precursors identifying illicit sources and also developing leads from legitimate vendors. All task forces will provide input to the Midwest HIDTA Investigative Support Center.

Forensic Laboratory Subsystem
The proliferation of methamphetamine trafficking and clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine throughout the Midwest HIDTA has severely impacted federal, state, and local forensic laboratories. The volume of exhibits, particularly those collected from clandestine laboratory seizures, have adversely affected the efficiency of the laboratories resulting in backlogs and long delays in processing evidence. These long processing delays often negatively impact ongoing investigations and prosecutions. In addition, the workload of the various federal, state, and local laboratories often prevents their chemists from responding to clandestine laboratory seizures and providing on-site expert support. Laboratory seizures made without a chemist on-site run a higher risk of danger to officers and the public, and frequently result in the collection of unnecessary exhibits thought to be evidentiary. The Federal/State Forensic Laboratory Enhancement Initiative will provide the needed additional resources to the laboratories in the region that have been affected the most. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will establish a satellite DEA laboratory at the FDA Laboratory located in the metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri area. This initiative will also provide enhancement to state/local laboratories in each state and supports the overall strategy of the Midwest HIDTA

Prosecution Subsystem
The Prosecution Subsystem interacts with the investigation and intelligence subsystem. The proliferation of methamphetamine trafficking and clandestine manufacturing in the Midwest region has resulted in a dramatic increase in federal, state and local investigations and arrests. The increase in arrests and resulting criminal prosecutions have strained the resources of the U. S. Attorney's Offices in the seven federal judicial districts in the region, as well as, many state and local prosecutors offices. The Midwest HIDTA Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) Initiative is designed to enhance the resources of these U.S. Attorney's Offices to ensure that additional methamphetamine cases are aggressively prosecuted at the federal or state level. Many of the Midwest HIDTA funded SUASAs will be cross-designated to assist state prosecutors in their area.

Demand Reduction Subsystem
The Demand Reduction Subsystem will interact and enhance both the investigative and prosecution subsystems. Through the Midwest HIDTA Demand Reduction Initiative, an effort will be made to measurably reduce the use of methamphetamine in the five-state area utilizing a regional strategy augmented by individual state plans. This initiative will develop a comprehensive public awareness campaign and will assist existing statewide and community anti-drug coalitions in educating the region's youth, families, and other at risk groups regarding the consequences of methamphetamine and other illicit drug use. The Midwest HIDTA Demand Reduction Subcommittee will coordinate regional and statewide activities with input from the Executive Committee. The initiative will also be coordinated with ONDCP and the national methamphetamine campaign being developed by Partnership for a Drug Free America.


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