COLUMBUS — The Ohio Attorney General’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission has been awarded $3.6 million to combat the illegal manufacture and distribution of heroin and prescription opioids in Ohio.
U.S. Attorneys Justin Herdman and David DeVillers and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the funding in a news release.
“Every day in Ohio, we continue to see the adverse effects that the heroin and opioid epidemic have in our community,” Herdman said in the release. “This funding will help the Ohio Attorney General’s Office continue their great work against this epidemic and support our law enforcement officers on the frontlines.”
Yost said his office appreciates "the partnership and the additional funding that will be used to disrupt the supply chain of illegal drugs in Ohio.
“OOCIC’s interdiction task forces strive to stay a step ahead of the ever evolving drug dealers who plague on our street and poison our youth," Yost said. "They aren’t stopping, but we aren’t either.”
Phil Keith, director of the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, said, “The scourge of opioid and methamphetamine use continues to take a devastating toll on our nation’s communities.
“By providing these resources to law enforcement to help combat the further spread, the COPS Office is demonstrating our commitment to this administration’s priority of reducing drug use and protecting our citizens from this public health and safety crisis.”
The COPS Office is awarding more than $29.7 million in grant funding to 14 state law enforcement agency task forces through the Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.
The AHTF program provides three years of funding directly to state-level law enforcement agencies with multijurisdictional reach and interdisciplinary team (e.g., task force) structures, in states with high per capita rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other opioids.
This funding will support the location or investigation of illicit activities through statewide collaboration related to the distribution of heroin, fentanyl or carfentanil, or the unlawful distribution of prescription opioids.
Between October 2019 and February 2020, current AHTF grantees reported the seizure of more than $4 million in cash and 1,213 firearms.
The complete list of Anti-Heroin Task Force Program award recipients, including funding amounts, can be found here.