Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), along with other law enforcement partners from across the country, was recognized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) at the United States Interdiction Committee (USIC) Awards, July 21. The awards recognize law enforcement partners for their work disrupting the flow of illicit narcotics and strengthening the nation’s response to the overdose epidemic through multi-jurisdictional collaboration.
“Our incredible HSI special agents play an instrumental role in the detection, disruption, and dismantling of individuals and criminal networks engaged in transnational narcotics smuggling and trafficking,” said acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director P.J. Lechleitner. “I am proud to recognize our dedicated professionals and honored to partner with ONDCP – we will continue to work tirelessly to contribute to whole-of-government efforts that take down those engaged in these crimes and keep global communities safe.”
Awardees from across the United States were selected from a list of more than 100 highly-qualified nominees; the work of these agencies and individuals helps advance the administration’s National Drug Control Strategy. HSI and its field offices received four of the nine awards for calendar year 2021 including:
- Major Campaign and Strategic Planning: The law enforcement partnership between HSI Seattle High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Task Force and Seattle Police Department sustained a campaign to disrupt transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) engaged in the manufacture and distribution of synthetic opioids and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
- Detection and Monitoring: HSI Memphis targeted the criminal supply chains of several criminal organizations and seized kilogram quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin.
- Interdiction and Intelligence Support: HSI New York Dark Web and Cryptocurrency Task Force successfully targeted illicit actors that utilized the dark web to conduct and conceal criminal activity. In 2021, this unit arrested a dozen suspects and seized firearms, cocaine, fentanyl, and more than $1.5 million in illicit proceeds.
- Special Recognition/Counter-Narcotics Force Enables: HSI International Operations targeted the supply chains of TCOs throughout South and Central America.
The Safer America Plan is a proposal aimed at keeping communities and lives safe. The plan proposes imposing tougher penalties for fentanyl trafficking; investing in services like mental health and substance use disorder to reduce burdens on law enforcement so they can focus on violent crimes; ensuring people in criminal justice settings have access to treatment; and ending sentencing disparities on crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Read the fact sheet for the plan online.