ONDCP Web Site About ONDCP News and Public Affairs Policy Drug Facts Publications Related Links
Prevention Treatment Science and Technology Enforcement State and Local International Funding

New York/New Jersey HIDTA

General Information:
  Year of Designation:  1990
  Geographic Area of Responsibility:
    New York:

New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties

    New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union Counties
    Contact: (646) 805-6105

Mission Statement:

The mission of the NY/NJ HIDTA is to reduce domestic drug trafficking and measurably reduce illegal drug use and crime by enhancing and coordinating drug trafficking control efforts. Recognizing that there is no single, effective solution, the NY/NJ HIDTA seeks to accomplish its mission through collaborative, measurable initiatives including information sharing, intelligence driven enforcement, training and prevention.

Threat Abstract:

Crime in New York City has decreased dramatically over the last six years and is now at its lowest level in over 35 years. According to the FBI Index statistics, New York City has been the safest large city in America since 1995. Despite law enforcement's tremendous accomplishments, communities in the New York metropolitan area are still plagued by illegal drugs and related crime. The NY/NJ HIDTA region remains one of the nation's major marketplaces and gateways for narcotics trafficking for several reasons:

New York City presents an ideal location for the importation of drugs from around the world. With 20 million people from more than 100 different countries living in the area, millions of people and packages travel through New York City every day. Over 20 million international passengers and over 100 million tons of freight pass through the region's three major airports, JFK, Newark and LaGuardia each year.

Numerous other transportation hubs are located throughout the area: several domestic airports, the railroad complexes of Grand Central and Pennsylvania Stations, and hundreds of miles of subway tracks. The New York metropolitan area also has an extensive waterfront and various points-of- entry for shipping cargo of every size and type and a complex network of highways and bridges which bring over one billion people into New York City each year. Each of these transportation avenues serves as a potential entry point for illegal drugs.

New York City, particularly the Washington Heights section of northern Manhattan, is the primary distribution center for retail and wholesale cocaine and heroin throughout the Northeast and is a significant point of distribution for locations across North America. A significant portion of the heroin seized in the United States is seized in or destined for New York City. In addition, a significant portion of the cocaine imported into the United States comes to or through New York City.

Cocaine, both powdered and crack, poses the most serious drug threat to the New York/New Jersey HIDTA region. It is readily available, frequently abused, and more often associated with violent crime than any other illicit drug. Heroin, primarily South American, poses the second most serious threat to the region because of the negative health effects and its emergence and spread within a new, younger abuser population. Marijuana's ubiquitous presence and acceptance by many segments of society distinguish it as a constant threat. The dramatic increase in the availability and abuse of Other Dangerous Drugs (ODDs), particularly MDMA (Ecstasy), mark these substances as the next greatest cause for concern. Methamphetamine is not, as yet, a serious threat to the region, although the level of abuse may be gradually increasing.

Strategy Abstract:

The NY/NJ HIDTA is led by an Executive Board consisting of 18 federal, state and local law enforcement leaders in the New York metropolitan area. Their leadership enhances the integration and synchronization of efforts to reduce drug trafficking, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, systematically improving the sharing of drug intelligence, and supporting programs that effectively reduce the demand for illegal drugs. The Strategy is implemented by the following initiatives:

The Regional Intelligence Center
HIDTANET (technology)
El Dorado Task Force
Regional Fugitive Task Force
New Jersey Drug Trafficking Organization Task Force
New York OCDETF Strike Force
Regional Training Center
Support Services
Prevention (non-HIDTA funded)
Citywide Armory Project

Investigative Support Center:

The Regional Intelligence Center (“RIC”) consists of approximately 600 representatives from all the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the New York metropolitan area. The RIC is the central conduit for information sharing among the numerous law enforcement agencies in the region. The RIC is organized into five sections and three satellite intelligence centers:

Watch Section: The Watch Section provides law enforcement with immediate access -“one-stop shopping”- to a wide range of law enforcement and commercial databases, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RIC analysts have access to virtually all of the law enforcement and commercial computer records. Inquiries can be run on, among other things, persons, vehicles, businesses, addresses, and telephone numbers. Each Watch query becomes a permanent record in the Information Data System (IDS) which serves as a pointer- index for all requestors of the Watch.

Borough Intelligence Section: The Borough Intelligence Section consists of investigators from the NYPD, divided geographically into eight Borough Intelligence Teams (“BITs”) throughout New York City. The mission of the BITs is to provide a comprehensive, integrated picture of crime block-by-block, precinct- by-precinct throughout New York City. Each BIT consists of one Field Intelligence Officer (“FIO”) for every precinct in that BIT's geographic area of responsibility. The BITs have access to all intelligence reports within the NYPD and their Task Forces and are responsible for providing a timely and complete criminal intelligence picture in order to effectively drive enforcement decisions.

El Dorado Money Laundering Intelligence Section (HIFCA): The Money Laundering Intelligence Section, led by ICE and IRS, is also known as the HIFCA Section (High Intensity Financial Crimes Area). The HIFCA Section is responsible for providing a comprehensive, integrated intelligence picture of drug related money laundering in the New York metropolitan area to the HIDTA El Dorado Task Force.

The Firearms Section (Regional Crime Gun Center): The Gun Center, led by ATF, is the central location for all criminal and regulatory firearm information. The Gun Center gathers and consolidates all aspects of intelligence on illegal firearms use and trafficking and makes that information available to law enforcement 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Priority Targeting Section (PTS): The Priority Targeting Section consists of investigators and analysts, and is responsible for providing a comprehensive, integrated intelligence picture of the most significant drug trafficking and other violent organizations in the New York metropolitan area. They provide case support, threat assessments, strategic reports and organizational studies to Investigators. The Priority Targeting Section also cultivates informants and cooperating witnesses and generates investigations. Once developed, these cases are referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

Satellite Intelligence Centers:
Westchester Intelligence Center New Jersey Intelligence Center Nassau County Intelligence Center Suffolk County Intelligence Center Upstate NY Regional Intelligence Center Rockland County Intelligence Center (non- HIDTA funded)

Participating Agencies:

Army National Guard, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Criminal Investigative Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Reserve Bank, FinCEN, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, United States Attorney's Offices, United States Coast Guard, United States Department of Defense/Joint Task Force-6, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of State, United States Marshals Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Probation, and United States Secret Service.

New York:
New York National Guard, New York State Banking Department, New York State Commission of Investigation, New York State Department of Corrections, New York State Department of Health and Human Services, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, New York State Division of Parole, New York State Police, and Waterfront Commission.

New Jersey : New Jersey Attorney General's Office, New Jersey Department of Corrections, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Division of Parole, New Jersey National Guard, and New Jersey State Police.

New York:
Bronx County District Attorney's Office, Clarkstown Police Department, Kings County District Attorney's Office, Mt. Vernon Police Department, Nassau County District Attorney's Office, Nassau County Police Department, New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator's Office, New York City Department of Correction, New York City Department of Investigation, New York City Police Department, New York County District Attorney's Office, Ocean County Sheriff's Department, Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Queens County District Attorney's Office, Ramapo Police Department, Richmond County District Attorney's Office, Rockland County District Attorney's Office, Rockland County Sheriff's Department, Stony Point Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Probation Department, Suffolk County Sheriff's Department, Westchester County Department of Corrections, Westchester County Department of Public Safety, and Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

New Jersey: Bayonne Police Department, Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, Camden County Sheriff's Department, East Brunswick Police Department, East Orange Police Department, Elizabeth Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor's Office, Essex County Sheriff's Office, Fort Lee Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, Mercer County Sheriff's Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, Newark Police Department, Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, Passaic County Sheriff's Department, and Trenton Police Department, Union City Police Department, Union County Prosecutor's Office, and Union County Sheriff's Office.

Significant Achievements:

The New York OCDETF Strike Force is a collocated, commingled Task Force dedicated exclusively to disrupting and dismantling Consolidated Priority Organizational Targets (CPOTs) and their drug trafficking organization affiliates in the New York metropolitan area.

Several law enforcement agencies, particularly DEA, FBI, NYPD, ICE and IRS, agreed to combine their independent OCDETF drug enforcement efforts under one umbrella, creating a true Strike Force, just as the OCDETF program originally envisioned over 20 years ago. The Strike Force is a model law enforcement partnership. The 230 law enforcement officers include DEA (59), FBI (31), NYPD
(34), ICE (30), IRS (30), USMS (5), OCDETF agency coordinators (including ATF and U.S. Coast Guard) (9), United States Attorneys' Offices for the Eastern and Southern District of New York (3), New York State Police (3), and New York State Banking Department (1). The members of the Strike Force are assigned to 15 enforcement groups under the direction of a DEA Associate SAC.

Each enforcement group is assigned an Intelligence Analyst from the HIDTA Regional Intelligence Center (“HIDTA RIC”). The analyst supports the group's investigations and ensures the free flow of information between and among the groups, law enforcement agencies in New York and throughout the country, and the Special Operations Division (“SOD”). The intelligence analysts work closely with the HIDTA RIC, and particularly with the CPOT Drug Intelligence Group, to provide the Strike Force with comprehensive case support, a constantly-updated list of Regional Priority Targets, and access to law enforcement databases. In turn, the Strike Force contributes intelligence from its ongoing investigations to the HIDTA RIC for support of other HIDTA investigations. In addition, the Strike Force registers all targets via a direct connection to UDECS, the state-wide deconfliction system maintained at the HIDTA RIC.

The Strike Force officially began operations in May, 2004 and is already among the finest drug enforcement task forces in the country. The Strike Force is located at Chelsea Market, which is connected by a bridge on one side to the 700-member HIDTA Regional Intelligence Center and the 130-member HIDTA Fugitive Task Force, both of which provide invaluable support to the Strike Force. On the other side of the Strike Force space, another bridge will soon be built to connect the Strike Force to the DEA's New York headquarters, thereby creating a law enforcement campus of unprecedented proportions.

By physically merging the resources and talents of the aforementioned agencies into a single, commingled, powerful Task Force dedicated to the destruction of the area's most prominent drug trafficking organizations, the opportunities to reduce the illicit drug flow to the consumer are being enhanced beyond anything achieved ever before in drug enforcement.

Since May, 2004 Strike Force CPOT investigations have already yielded $22,000,000; 23,400 pounds of marijuana; and 230 kilograms of cocaine.

Previous Contents Next

Last Updated: February 7, 2005

Search Contact Site Map Mobile Web ONDCP Web site