DEA names Florence Co. a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

From the Florence County Sheriff's Office:

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced the designation of Florence County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This designation will allow Florence County Sheriff's Office to receive Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts among Federal, State and local law enforcement officers in South Carolina and to allow local agencies to benefit from ongoing HIDTA initiatives working to reduce drug use and its consequences across the United States. Because of this designation, Florence and Horry Counties will now join Richland and Lexington Counties as part of the Atlanta/Carolinas HIDTA.

Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA program serves as a catalyst for coordinating among Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. Law enforcement organizations working with HIDTAs access drug-trafficking problems and design specific initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution and chronic use of drugs and money laundering. There are 28 HIDTAs located in 46 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

"Because of the location of two major Interstate highways, Florence County is seen as a transportation route for drug trafficking and all the illegal activity that it brings with it," Sheriff Kenney Boone stated. "The HIDTA designation will only increase the already great working relationship we have with these other agencies and will allow us to better utilize federal resources and funding against the drug traffickers."