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New England HIDTA

General Information:
  Year of Designation:  1999
  Geographic Area of Responsibility:

Suffolk, Essex, Worcester, Plymouth, Hampden, and Middlesex Counties


Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven Counties

    Rhode Island:

Providence County

    Vermont: Chittenden County
    Maine: Cumberland County
    New Hampshire: Hillsborough County
    Contact: George C. Festa - (978) 691-2501 - [email protected]

Mission Statement:

The New England HIDTA, (NEHIDTA) will reduce drug availability through multi-agency collocated and commingled intelligence- driven drug task forces aimed at eliminating or reducing domestic drug trafficking and its harmful consequences by enhancing and coordinating drug trafficking and financial crimes control efforts.

Threat Abstract:

The greater Boston area has been identified as a primary heroin market in the United States based on high levels of abuse, significant consequences of that abuse, and widespread distribution. Low prices and high purity levels persist with street dosages selling for as low as $4.00 and purity levels as high as 95%.

Colombian criminal groups continue to supply the region via the New York “pipeline” and several secondary distribution cities in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Crack cocaine and powdered cocaine continue to be significant threats to the New England area. These drugs, like heroin, are the two most commonly encountered threats that are facing our region. Throughout New England, the availability of cocaine hydrochloride remained stable, while the availability of crack cocaine continues to rise.

Information from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have identified hydroponic marijuana readily available in all of the six New England states. In recent years, hydroponic marijuana, either from Canada or indoor grows, had only been observed in Northern New England. However, currently hydroponic marijuana can be obtained throughout the entire New England area.

The availability and abuse of diverted pharmaceuticals continue to threaten the New England states. Specifically, Oxycodone (OxyContin) and MDMA (Ecstasy) pose the most significant threat to New England.

The New England area also faces the United States/Canadian border threat. There is availability of all types of illegal drugs in the northern border regions of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The US/Canadian border is a 4,000-mile stretch that is an increasing threat for drug trafficking and terrorism. Accompanying the ever-increasing drug activity, the quality of life issues such as violence, corruption and economic depletion of US currency are all inherent and latent threats.

Strategy Abstract:

The strategy for the New England HIDTA is to reduce drug availability and its harmful consequences focusing on the flow of drugs from New York, Canada and elsewhere into New England and enhancing and coordinating drug trafficking and financial crimes control efforts among Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. This is accomplished by collecting, analyzing and disseminating information and intelligence on drug trafficking and money laundering organizations to the NEHIDTA task forces and other law enforcement agencies. This intelligence is then used by NEHIDTA collocated federal, state and local task forces to initiate intelligence-driven investigations on the major organizations. Representatives from over 100 federal, state and local agencies support the NEHIDTA with the sharing of resources and information / intelligence. In order to reduce the flow of drugs along the pipeline and dismantle the drug trafficking organizations the New England HIDTA has established a total of 15 initiatives throughout New England.

The law enforcement executives on the Executive Board and the Director and Staff are the command and control of drug law enforcement and prosecution in New England. This unified approach in the New England region enables law enforcement executives from Federal, state and local agencies to develop a regional threat assessment and determine a strategy of attacking the drug trafficking organizations.

Investigative Support Center:

The New England HIDTA's Investigative Support Center (ISC) is co-managed by the FBI and the Massachusetts State Police. The ISC has two operational components; the Watch Center and the Analytical Services Section. A DEA Analytical supervisor manages the Analytical Section. The ISC is made up of investigators from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. There are Federal and civilian intelligence analysts in the Analytical Section. The mission of the ISC is to proactively collect, evaluate, collate, analyze and disseminate detailed and relevant all-source information concerning drug trafficking and money laundering operations. An integral component governing the success of the NEHIDTA is the free exchange of intelligence information among all HIDTA participants and other Federal, state and local agencies throughout the region. The analytical section and watch center provides support to major investigations. These investigations have resulted in 2152 arrests and 277 drug trafficking organizations dismantled for 2003.

The ISC utilizes advanced computer technology to assist in the collection, analysis, retrieval, and dissemination of all the collected data. The ISC has a protocol for documenting major criminal conspiracies, which is utilized to support historical conspiracy prosecutions on significant drug trafficking organizations operating in New England. The New England Watch Center has partnered with the Gulf Coast, Houston, Atlanta and Mid-West, West Texas and Appalachia HIDTA's users group to provide input and utilize an Internet based Event and Target Deconfliction application. The NEHIDTA ISC is linked to and utilizes federal, state and local intelligence databases, such as FBI ACS, DEA DRUG X, ICE TECSII, US Marshal's Service Warrant Information Management System, MA Board of Probation, MA State Police RAMS, NESPIN, CT Suspect Pointer Index System, VT Suspect Pointer Index System and the Norfolk County Sheriff's Department. The ISC will connect to the National Virtual Pointer System to enhance information sharing with Federal, state and local law enforcement. The NEHIDTA provides outstanding support to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, JTF-6, United States Attorney ' s for New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, United States Coast Guard, United States Marshals for Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, United States Postal Service, United States Secret Service, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Naval Investigative Service.

State: Connecticut State Police, Attorney General's Office, Connecticut, Connecticut National Guard, Connecticut Air National Guard, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Attorney General's Office, Maine, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Massachusetts Parole Office, Attorney General's Office, Massachusetts, Massachusetts National Guard, New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire National Guard, New Hampshire Attorney General ' s Drug Task Force, Attorney General's Office, New Hampshire, Rhode Island State Police, Rhode Island National Guard, Attorney General's Office, Rhode Island, Vermont State Police, Vermont National Guard, Attorney General's Office, Rhode Island, Rhode Island Airport Police. Local : Boston, MA Police Department, Branford, CT Police Department, Bridgeport, CT Police Department, Bristol, CT Police Department, Brockton, MA, Police Department, Burlington, VT, Police Department, Central Falls, RI, Police Department, Cranston, RI Police Department, Derby, CT Police Department, Easton, CT Police Department, East Haven, CT Police Department, Essex County, MA, District Attorney's Office, Essex County, MA Sheriff's Department, Essex, VT, Police Department, Fairfield, CT, Police Department, Framingham, MA Police Department, Hamden, CT Police Department, Hartford, CT, Police Department, Lawrence, MA, Police Department, Lewiston, ME, Police Department, Lowell, MA Police Department, Lynn, MA Police Department, Manchester, NH Police Department, Methuen, MA, Police Department, Middletown, RI Police Department, Nashua, NH Police Department, New Haven, CT, Police Department, New London, CT, Police Department, New Milford, Ct, Police Department, Newtown, CT, Police Department, North Andover, MA Police Department, Norwalk, CT, Police Department, Orange, CT Police Department, Pawtucket, RI Police Department, Providence, RI, Police Department, Scarborough, ME, Police Department, Seymour, CT Police Department, Shelton, CT Police Department, Southbridge, MA Police Department, Stamford, CT Police Department, Stratford, CT Police Department, Trumball, CT Police Department, Waterford, CT Police Department, Watertown, CT Police Department, Warwick, RI Police Department, Webster, MA Police Department, Westerly, RI Police Department, West Haven, CT Police Department, Woonsocket, RI Police Department.

Other: State Medical Examiners; State Directors of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and State/Local Directors of Emergency Medical Services in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island, Connecticut POST, Holy Family Hospital, Methuen, MA.

Significant Achievements:

HIDTA of the Year AwardThe NEHIDTA is the proud recipient of the HIDTA of the Year Award for 2003. The award was presented to NEHIDTA Executive Board members and the Deputy Director, ISC manager and the Director at the National HIDTA Conference in Washington, DC. Winning this award is most gratifying because it is a team award and reflects the hard work, dedication and cooperative spirit of the law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, participating agencies, Executive Board and Director and Staff of the NEHIDTA. Many thanks to ONDCP for recognizing the NEHIDTA with this prestigious honor.

Heroin Advisory GroupThe New England HIDTA Heroin Advisory Group was formed to address the heroin epidemic in the six New England states that is caused by the very pure and potent heroin that is found throughout the region. The group consists of medical examiners, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, prevention and education specialists, treatment professionals, emergency service personnel and doctors. The Heroin Advisory Group has established a regional strategy and action items to deal with the heroin problem in a comprehensive, coordinated manner.

Training Initiative Methuen, MA This initiative became operational in June 2003 and has provided training to 214 Federal, state and local law enforcement officers for a total of 3,665 student hours.

Investigative Support Center – Methuen, MA. The NEHIDTA Watch Center, in partnership with the Gulf Coast HIDTA, provided Event Deconfliction services to NEHIDTA Task Forces. In six months, the Watch Center entered 1069 events, updated/edited 516 events and resolved 238 conflicts. This system will be expanded to support other agencies in the future.

Greater Boston HIDTA Task Force – Boston, MA In a joint investigation with the Financial Task Force this task force arrested the leaders of an entrenched heroin and cocaine DTO. This task force successfully dismantled the Latin Kings Street Gang in Lawrence, MA with the arrest of twenty members, including the leadership.

Central Massachusetts Task Force - Worcester, MA This task force participated in a multi-jurisdictional OCDETF investigation that resulted in the seizure of 283 kilos of cocaine in Maine.

New England HIDTA Fugitive Task Force – Boston, MA -This task force has arrested 382 individuals; 24 of these arrests were for homicides connected to drug violence.

Rhode Island Task Force – Providence, Rhode Island – initiated 66 investigations resulting in 80 arrests. This task force seized assets valued at almost $1.5 million.

New Haven-Fairfield County Task Force/Hartford County HIDTA Transportation Task Force - Middletown, CT - These very successful task forces had over 1000 arrests. The drug trafficking arrests were for significant amounts of heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine.

Providence County Transportation Task Force – Warwick, RI –This task force dismantled a major marijuana trafficking organization linked to a CPOT target. The task force seized $500,000 in assets and the main target received a 10-year prison sentence.

Southern New Hampshire Task Force – Concord, NH –This task force initiated 31 drug investigations, arrested 70 mid to upper level traffickers and seized assets worth over $1.6 million dollars.

New England HIDTA Financial Task Force - Boston, MA – This task force initiated an investigation of an automobile dealership in Massachusetts that has resulted in the arrest of several drug violators in the Dominican Republic and the seizure of four million dollars in assets.

Southwestern Connecticut Task Force – Bridgeport, CT- This task force is investigating significant Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) and OCDETF cases. In one of these investigations 27 organizational members were arrested for the distribution of hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine and multiple kilograms of heroin.

Northern Vermont Task Force - Burlington, VT. This task force identified, penetrated and dismantled the largest known heroin distribution organization in the State of Vermont.

Southern Maine Task Force - Portland, Maine. This task force targeted the major heroin and cocaine distributors in Cumberland County, Maine. As a result, in CY2003 there was a decrease in heroin –related overdose deaths and decreased availability of controlled substances in that county.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005