ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Earlier this week, the White House Office of National Drug Control announced Olmsted County would join more than three dozen regions across the country as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA) is a drug-prohibition enforcement program established in 1990 and is run by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The program provides assistance to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the country.
Back in July, Olmsted County Officials garnered the largest meth bust ever in Southeastern Minnesota, totaling more than $300,000 worth of meth.
Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson told KTTC that Rochester has normally been a stop for drug trafficking on the way from Chicago to the Twin Cities.But lately it’s becoming more of a destination itself, along with other areas in Southeastern Minnesota along I-90, which is why they’re looking forward to getting this assistance.
“It’s exciting, it’s good news, it really is. We’re going to be able to get some money in here that will come from the federal government, recognizing the idea that we need some help, which is exactly what we do. So that’s good, because we’re always looking for that kind of support, but on the other side of it, it verifies and recognizes that we have a serious problem,” said Torgerson.
He gave a ballpark estimate of about $100,000 the county could receive in aid per year, but says none of the money is allowed to go towards personnel.
Torgerson says the money will act as grants and will have to go towards specific areas, such as equipment and other needs in helping to solve the county’s drug trafficking problem.