NEWBURGH – After the second successful heroin bust by FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force in Orange County, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) urged expedited approval of Dutchess and Putnam Counties in the NY/NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) in order to bring additional local, state and federal law enforcement resources critical to combatting drug trafficking in the Hudson Valley. Earlier this month, Maloney wrote to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske in support of the HIDTA application submitted on behalf of Dutchess, Putnam and Rockland counties.
"I’m calling for all-hands-on-deck. Designating the Hudson Valley as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area enables our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to partner together and ensures our law enforcement officials who are working every day to get drugs off our streets have the federal and state resources they need to combat drug trafficking in our communities," said Rep. Maloney.
"Preventing the flow of heroin into our community is critical to our efforts to prevent addiction and overdoses from this deadly substance. We appreciate Congressman Maloney’s efforts to bring additional law enforcement resources to our area by pushing forward Dutchess County’s designation as part of the HIDTA," said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
"The more we can do to get these killer drugs off our streets, the better. And the sooner, the better. We have lost far too many young people to heroin of late and it is tearing Putnam families apart. I fully support any legislation passed by Congress that will expedite High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area designation approval for Putnam," said Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell.
"I thank Congressman Maloney for supporting the inclusion of Putnam and Dutchess counties in the New York/New Jersey High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) making us eligible for additional federal funding. This additional funding will help us fight the scourge of drugs in the Hudson Valley, will help protect our children, and will help keep Putnam County a safe place to live, work, and raise a family," said Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has reported that nearly 20% of all heroin seized by authorities has come from New York, a major distribution hub for drug trafficking nationwide. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 to provide resources and facilitate cooperation and intelligence sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that operate in areas determined by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy as critical drug-trafficking regions. The HIDTA program funds 681 programs across the country, including Westchester and Orange Counties, as part of the NY/NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.