BOSTON, MA — Attorney General Maura Healey recently announced that her office, in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Justice, has been awarded a nearly $3 million grant to expand its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and disrupt and dismantle drug and fentanyl trafficking throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
“The drug trafficking investigations of our Fentanyl Strike Force have taken millions of lethal doses of heroin and fentanyl off the streets,” said AG Healey. “This new multimillion grant will bring unprecedented resources to our ongoing work to dismantle drug networks, prosecute traffickers, and combat this crisis.”
“This grant award will enhance cooperation and collaboration among law enforcement in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts and provide needed resources to expand our collective efforts to combat the opioid crisis in our communities. Expanding our work together will benefit the citizens of both our states and will enhance our collective efforts to interdict the flow of dangerous drugs,” said New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald. “I thank Attorney General Healey and her staff for her efforts and, on behalf of law enforcement in New Hampshire, we look forward to our continued work together.”
The AG’s Office won this grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Anti-Heroin Task Force grant program, which earlier this year invited law enforcement agencies from across the country to apply for funding to combat criminal heroin and opioid trafficking. The AG’s Office application was one of just 17 proposals funded nationally and the only awarded in New England.
The funding will allow the AG’s Office to build upon the work of AG Healey’s Fentanyl Strike Force, created in 2016 using a $1 million COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force grant, in part by expanding ongoing multistate investigations with New Hampshire law enforcement. The AG’s Office and other Massachusetts law enforcement offices have worked closely with New Hampshire law enforcement to end drug trafficking in the region, and grant funds will now allow both states to build on current work, expand scope and geographic reach, and support a closer cooperation in combatting fentanyl and drug trafficking across New England.
The task force uses a multi-faceted, multijurisdictional approach to aggressively combat the heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis in New England by building partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement. Since its launch, the task force has seized approximately 164 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, 8,900 opioid pills, 67 vehicles, 51 firearms, $5.6 million in cash, and has arrested 169 suspects, primarily for trafficking heroin, fentanyl, and opioid pills. Task force partners include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics and Investigations Unit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the United States Postal Service, and more than 20 local police departments.
The task force will use funds from the 2018 grant to stem the flow of drugs into and through the Massachusetts-New Hampshire corridor. The additional funding will strengthen both states’ drug law enforcement infrastructure and intelligence and information sharing capabilities; enhance collaboration and coordination with all law enforcement agencies; and establish effective partnerships within state government.
(NOTE: The above press release is from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.)
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