Butler County is one of 10 newly designated High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas across seven states, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the White House.
The designation comes as the opioid crisis continues to grow across the country, and is heavily concentrated in the Midwest, officials said.
“This new funding will help us do what we do even better,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones. “The drug traffickers will continue using any platform they can to bring this poison to Butler County and we don’t want them or their drugs here.”
The designation will provide additional funding for the Butler County Undercover Regional Narcotics Taskforce (BURN), according to the sheriff’s office.
The new designation provides local law enforcement with federal resources so it can “better coordinate and develop drug control efforts” among federal, state and local officers, said James Carroll, Deputy Director of the Office Of National Drug Control Policy.
“Drug traffickers are fueling the opioid crisis and poisoning our communities, so we have to be relentless in bringing them to justice,” Carroll said. “This new funding will allow law enforcement to disrupt trafficking operations in key areas so we can save lives, strengthen our communities, and safeguard our country.”
Other states designated as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas include: Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The newly announced High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas include:
• Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington counties in Pennsylvania
• Atlantic County in New Jersey
• Butler County in Ohio
• Charleston County in South Carolina
• Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina
• Mineral County in West Virginia
• Montgomery and Powell counties in Kentucky
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program was created in 1988. There are 29 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas located in 50 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.