To further combat the national opioid crisis and curtail the movement of contraband throughout western Kentucky, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) signed a parcel task force agreement sponsored by the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (A-HIDTA) on Dec. 10.
This formalized parcel-interdiction task force agreement was signed by the following Kentucky-based agency heads: Special Agent in Charge Jerry Templet, HSI Nashville; Chief Steven Conrad, Louisville Metropolitan Police Department; Sheriff John Aubrey, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; and Acting Commissioner Chad White, Kentucky State Police. U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, Western District of Kentucky, hosted this meeting.
“This agreement is one of many examples of our law enforcement and judicial partners cooperating to fight the devastating impact opioids have in our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Jerry Templet, HSI Nashville. “Our task force will foster a combined and more effective law enforcement presence to seize illegal narcotics and prosecute drug traffickers.”
The A-HIDTA task force focuses on protecting the citizens of Kentucky from narcotic trafficking organizations that exploit commercial parcels to move their narcotics and proceeds.
In the past three months, the A-HIDTA Parcel Taskforce has seized more than $350,000 in illicit proceeds, large quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and thousands of THC vapes that are similar in appearance to nicotine vapes.
This agreement comes shortly after HSI saw a record-breaking year in narcotics enforcement by leveraging partnerships and using a variety of task forces.
Nationally, HSI seized more than 12,450 lbs. of opioids in fiscal year 2019 (FY19) — a record-breaking amount — exceeding FY18 seizures by more than 2,500 lbs. HSI also seized more than 3,600 lbs. of fentanyl and made more than 1,900 fentanyl-related arrests in FY19, which are both substantially higher than FY18 figures. HSI also seized more than 145,000 lbs. of methamphetamine in FY19.