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Rocky Mountain HIDTA

General Information:
  Year of Designation:  1996
  Geographic Area of Responsibility:
    Colorado:

Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Jefferson, LaPlata, Larimer, Mesa, Moffatt, Pueblo, Routt and Weld counties

    Montana: Cascade, Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Missoula, and Yellowstone
    Utah: Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Utah, Washington and Weber counties
    Wyoming:

Albany, Campbell, Laramie, Natrona, Sweetwater and Uinta counties

    Contact: (303) 671-2180

Mission Statement:

The mission of Rocky Mountain HIDTA (RMHIDTA) is to support the national drug control strategy of reducing drug use in this nation. Specifically, the RMHIDTA ultimate mission is to facilitate cooperation and coordination among federal, state and local drug enforcement efforts to enhance combating drug trafficking organizations locally, regionally and nationally. This mission is accomplished through intelligence-driven joint multi-agency collocated drug task forces sharing information and working cooperatively with other drug enforcement initiatives including interdiction.

Threat Abstract:

Methamphetamine continues to pose the greatest threat in Rocky Mountain HIDTA's four-state region. Methamphetamine abuse and trafficking are associated with financial, property, and violent crimes throughout Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (MDTOs) produce, transport, and distribute most of the methamphetamine in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Methamphetamine production also occurs in Montana and places a tremendous burden on law enforcement resources.

Cocaine represents a significant threat to Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Criminal groups and individuals that distribute and abuse cocaine often engage in violent acts, especially assault, assault on law enforcement, and homicide. MDTOs are the primary transporters and distributors of cocaine. The threat to Montana posed by crack cocaine is greater than that posed by powdered cocaine. Although violence is infrequently associated with cocaine distribution and abuse in Montana, African American street gangs that distribute cocaine in Billings are known to commit violent crimes such as drive-by shootings and assault in other cities in the United States.

Heroin, specifically Mexican black tar and, to a lesser extent, Mexican brown powdered, poses a moderate but increasing threat to Colorado and Utah. MDTOs and criminal groups are the primary transporters and distributors of Mexican black tar and brown powdered heroin.

Marijuana poses a significant threat to all states and continues to be the most readily available and abused illicit drug within the four-state region. Most of the marijuana in all states is produced, transported, and distributed by MDTOs. Highly potent “BC Bud” from Canada is increasingly available in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. Cannabis is also cultivated in the states, both indoors and outdoors. Cannabis cultivators sometimes employ armed guards, guard dogs, and booby traps to deter civilian and law enforcement discovery of cannabis crops.

The drugs often referred to collectively as “club drugs” pose an increasing threat to Colorado and Utah. In particular, MDMA is readily available in these states. Hallucinogens pose a concern in Montana and are abused primarily by high school and college-age students. LSD poses an increasing threat to Colorado and Utah. Psilocybin is grown in Colorado and is the most widely abused hallucinogen in the state.

Diverted pharmaceuticals pose a concern to Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and pose a growing threat in Montana. The most commonly diverted pharmaceuticals include opioids (narcotic analgesics) such as Dilaudid, Fentanyl, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Vicodin, and sedative hypnotics (benzodiazepines) such as Valium and Xanax. Stimulants such as Adderall, Dexedrine, and Ritalin also are commonly diverted in Montana.

Strategy Abstract:

Rocky Mountain HIDTA includes seventeen counties in Colorado, five in Montana, six in Utah and six in Wyoming. The governing body or Executive Board is made up of federal, state and local criminal justice system executives from the four states. This Board employs the director and other administrative staff housed in Denver to oversee the day-to-day operation of the HIDTA.

Rocky Mountain HIDTA is broken down into five subcomponents, which include Administration, Training, Intelligence, Investigation and Interdiction. Each of these subcomponents consists of individual initiatives developed in order to address the identified threat and carry out the mission.

The Investigative subcomponent consists of thirty multi-agency collocated drug task forces strategically placed throughout the region. The Interdiction subcomponent consists of the Colorado State Patrol Interdiction Program, Utah Department of Public Safety Criminal Interdiction Team, Wyoming Highway Patrol Interdiction Program and the Denver Metro Interdiction Task Force. The Administration, Training and Intelligence subcomponents are classified as support initiatives and service the needs of drug law enforcement and prosecution. All five subcomponents are closely related and interact on a regular basis in addressing the threat. Rocky Mountain HIDTA supports a number of major drug trafficking organization task forces, gang task force, financial task force, and the newly-developed Highway Patrol Network which is a collaboration of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming Highway Patrols.

These initiatives include nineteen different federal agencies involving 115 federal personnel; fourteen state agencies involving 1,145 state personnel; 118 local agencies involving 322 local personnel; and 4 state National Guard Units involving 11 National Guard personnel. The Investigation and Interdiction subcomponents have achieved success in meeting the projected overall outputs.

Investigative Support Center:

The Rocky Mountain HIDTA Investigative Support Center is the central hub for the Investigative and Interdiction subcomponents. The Investigative Support Center is made up of a combination of federal, state and local personnel primarily analysts to assist drug task forces and units in their investigative efforts. The Investigative Support Center has a satellite center in Salt Lake City, Utah and coordinates with the Wyoming DCI center in Cheyenne.

The Case Analytical Unit provides analytical support to the various HIDTA task forces in pursuit of their investigations. This support includes wire intercepts, PEN registers, graphs, charts, telephone toll analysis, document analysis, geo-mapping, link analysis, statistical analysis, subject background reports, and operational briefing books. The majority of the major investigations that have national impact have had an ISC analyst assigned to the case. Through the Watch Center function of the ISC, Rocky Mountain HIDTA enforcement agencies are provided real-time tactical deconfliction. Tactical deconfliction is offered to agencies located in eleven Colorado counties. Research is currently underway to expand the Watch Center services into projected areas of need throughout the Rocky Mountain HIDTA region.

The ISC supports and facilitates drug pointer-index information sharing between the four Rocky Mountain HIDTA states and continues to work on direct connectivity between ISC support functions and the investigative initiatives. The intelligence subsystem includes activities and satellite analytical support functions through the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation and the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Participating Agencies:

Federal : Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement Under Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service,
U.S. Attorney's Office (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming), U.S. Marshals Service, U. S. Postal Inspections Service and U.S. Customs Service.

State: Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado National Guard, Colorado State Patrol, University of Colorado Police Department, Colorado Department of Corrections, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Montana Department of Corrections, Montana National Guard, Utah Adult Parole Division, University of Utah Police Department, Utah Attorney General's Office, Utah Department of Corrections, Utah Department of Public Safety including Bureau of State Investigations and Utah Highway Patrol, Utah National Guard, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and Wyoming Highway Patrol

Local:
Colorado: The 1st , 4th , 9th , 11th , 13th , 14th , 17th , and 19th Judicial Districts Attorneys' Offices; Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Jefferson, LaPlata, Larimer, Mesa, Moffatt, Pueblo, Routt, Teller, and Weld Counties Sheriff's Offices; Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Carbondale, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, Craig, Denver, Durango, Englewood, Erie, Evans, Federal Heights, Fort Collins, Fountain, Garfield, Glendale, Glenwood Springs, Golden, Grand Junction, Greeley, Greenwood Village, Lafayette, Lakewood, Littleton, Louisville, Loveland, Manitou Springs, Northglenn, Pueblo, Rifle, Rio Blanco, Sheridan, Steamboat Springs, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge and Woodland Park Police Departments.

Utah: Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office; Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Washington Counties Sheriff's Offices; American Fork, Bountiful, Clearfield, Kaysville, Layton, Mapleton, Midvale, Murray City, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Salt Lake City, Spanish Fork, Springville, St. George, West Jordan, West Valley, Woods Cross, Pleasant Grove, Lehi, Mapleton and Salem Police Departments; Salt Lake International Airport Police; Bayfield Marshal's Office

Montana: Cascade, Flathead, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Teton, Yellowstone, Lewis and Clark, Missoula Counties Sheriff's Offices; Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Laurel, Missoula, and Whitefish Police Departments.

Wyoming: Laramie, Natrona and Sweetwater Counties District Attorney's Offices; Campbell, Carbon, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan, Sweetwater, and Uinta Counties Sheriff's Offices; Casper, Cheyenne, Douglas, Evanston, Gillette, Green River, Laramie, Sheridan, Torrington, and Wheatland Police Departments.

Significant Achievements:

•

Established first federal, state and local Denver Metro drug task force of 42 officers and 2 prosecutors collocated and commingled.

• Started 6 collocated/commingled drug task forces that were not in existence.
• Initiated the first collocated/commingled task force in the tri-state area to solely target money laundering and financial aspects of drug trafficking.
• Helped facilitate the standardizing of all drug enforcement in Wyoming under the Regional Enforcement Team concept.
• Assisted in facilitating a consolidated statewide Utah methamphetamine program including officers, analysts, prosecutors and forensic all working together as a team. This resulted in a three-year decrease in clan lab seizures.
• Began the first drug K-9 programs in all three states highway patrol departments.
• Created the first statewide fugitive location task force in Colorado.
• Rocky Mountain HIDTA programs increased the number of drug trafficking organizations disrupted/dismantled by 15%, arrests by 44% and drug seizures by 30% and have seen a decrease in the number of clandestine labs.
•

Helped foster the coordination of over 321 separate investigations with other HIDTA regions.

•

Trained approximately 1,700 officers in 47 training classes. The only HIDTA to develop its own Two-week Basic Drug Investigations School, Clan Lab Safety Course, Street Survival Spanish, and Drug Unit Commanders Course, all are POST certified. First HIDTA to host off- site Federal Law Enforcement Analyst Training (FLEAT), a DEA analyst course.

•

Cooperation with the National Drug Intelligence Center including housing two NDIC field specialists.

• Sponsored the first and ongoing federal, state and local Drug Unit Commanders quarterly meetings for training, problem resolution and information sharing.
• Increased use of pointer name index system in each state by 150% and responsible for unanimous agreement among agencies for mandated use.
•

Helped facilitate establishment of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association who set up their first annual conference. Developed a comprehensive policy and procedure manual that was requested and distributed to over 19 HIDTAs.

• Established tactical deconfliction watch center and secured unanimous agreement for mandated use.
• Developed a comprehensive policy and procedure manual that was requested and distributed to over 19 HIDTAs.
•

Developed the Rocky Mountain Highway Patrol Network to foster tri- state coordination and cooperation.

•

Initiated and sponsored the first HIDTA ISC Manager's Meeting.

• Responsible for the ONDCP/CTAC radio interoperability pilot project and its success.
• Work closely with Montana authorities to bring them into RMHIDTA. Assisted with the threat assessment, budget and forming appropriate task forces.
•

Connected Utah's pointer name index (ULEIN) with RISS.NET. In the process of connecting Colorado and Wyoming.

• Established a methamphetamine coordinator's position in coordination with the National Chemical Initiative, which facilitated passage of a strong precursor/chemical law in Colorado.
•

Facilitated passage of the Drug Endangered Children's law in Colorado and helped establish Colorado coalition of drug endangered children.

•

Established a satellite Investigative Support Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005