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

Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery, Stark, Summit and Warren Counties

    Contact: (216) 739-3500

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Ohio HIDTA is to reduce drug availability by creating intelligence- driven drug task forces aimed at eliminating or reducing domestic drug trafficking and its harmful consequences through enhancing and helping to coordinate drug-trafficking control efforts among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. This will be accomplished through the coordination and sharing of intelligence, unified law enforcement effort, and community cooperation, which will improve the quality of life in Ohio.

Threat Abstract:

The Ohio HIDTA was designated on June 15, 1999. In 2004, six additional counties were added and the HIDTA is now located in an eleven-county region in Northern and Southern Ohio where access to illicit narcotics has become a lucrative business and thus a challenging task for law enforcement. Northern Ohio consists of approximately 40 counties, encompassing approximately 18,000 square miles of landmass and approximately 6.5 million residents. The Ohio HIDTA region consists of five metropolitan cities, Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown all of which have lost much of their industrial base since the 1970's. Of these metropolitan areas, Toledo and Cleveland are major international seaports processing in excess of 28,000,000 tons of bulk and dry cargo each year. The Port of Cleveland receives between 120-165 foreign vessels annually.

The primary drug threat to the Ohio HIDTA region has been, and continues to be, cocaine in both powder and crack form. Many drug trafficking organizations exist and operate in Northern Ohio with no one group as the �major player.� The most significant drug trafficking organizations in this region consist of Jamaican and Hispanic (Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans) traffickers. Outlaw motorcycle clubs, other ethnic-based groups and street gangs are also involved in drug trafficking activity in this region. Typical methods of distribution include the use of well-developed interstate highways (I-80, I-90, I-75, I-77, and I-71) and the transport of drugs by travelers on commercial airline flights, although a considerable decline in the latter method has occurred in response to increased airport security.

Besides the trafficking in cocaine, Northern Ohio contends with the emerging threat of heroin and a growing methamphetamine problem. Recent data from the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) reveal a consistent in-crease in the number of clandestine methamphetamine

laboratory seizures in Ohio. Since the year 2000, the number of labs seized in Ohio has more than quadrupled. The easy manufacture of this illicit drug coupled with its serious health risks makes methamphetamine an especially salient concern in this region. Marijuana is ubiquitous in Ohio as it is elsewhere and constitutes the most commonly available and abused drug in this region. The so- called �designer-drugs� or �club drugs� (i.e., GHB, Ecstasy) have become popular among young adults and juveniles in the area and pose a threat to users who often view the use of these drugs as relatively harmless and benign.

Strategy Abstract:

The overall investigative strategy of the Ohio HIDTA consists of ten multi-agency metropolitan task forces representing the geographic territory of the five-county region. Each task force will develop its own strategies, based upon a regional Threat Assessment, and structure the task force for achieving the primary goal of the Ohio HIDTA. This will be accomplished through the development of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) quality investigations. Each task force will submit annual proposals for multi-agency initiatives designed to focus Ohio HIDTA resources against major narcotics and money laundering organizations. An Initiatives/Budget Subcommittee, in conjunction with the lead OCDETF attorney for the district, will review all task force investigations to ensure the appropriate use of Ohio HIDTA resources, and that cases are submitted for Ohio HIDTA and OCDETF designation. The Ohio HIDTA Executive Board, which is made up of 8 federal and 8 local/state law enforcement executives, through subcommittees, will coordinate the integration and synchronization of efforts to dismantle organizations, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and improve the systematic sharing of intelligence. The Ohio HIDTA Executive Board will monitor the implementation of this strategy to ensure the efforts of the Ohio HIDTA will produce the desired impact and further determine whether the distribution of resources is consistent with the overall Ohio HIDTA strategy.


1. Management and Coordination

2. Investigative Support Center

3. Training Initiative

4. Caribbean/Gang Drug Task Force

5. DEA Youngstown Task Force

6. Akron/Summit County HIDTA Initiative

7. Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force

8. Northeast Ohio Interdiction Task Force

9. Northwest Ohio HIDTA Task Force

10. Stark County Violent Crimes Task Force

11. Toledo Metro Drug Task Force

12. HIDTA Money Laundering/Intelligence Initiative

13. Commercial Vehicle/Intelligence Initiative

14. South Central Drug Task Force

15. Southwest Ohio Regional Task Force (Pharmaceutical Diversion Unit)

16. Miami Valley Drug Task Force

Investigative Support Center:

The Ohio HIDTA Investigative Support Center (ISC) became fully operational in early 2001. Through the use of numerous commercial and criminal law enforcement databases, it now provides event deconfliction, case/subject deconfliction, post-seizure analysis, telephone toll analysis, link analysis, intelligence profiles, Title III support, charts/graphs, trend and pattern analysis, as well as financial/analytical case support, and training. The Technical Support/ Computer Evidence Recovery Lab offers additional services to law enforcement. All interdiction operations and investigations are coordinated through the ISC. The Ohio HIDTA ISC also coordinates with local and federal intelligence networks, as well as other HIDTAs to ensure connectivity. The ISC brokers information to the metropolitan and interdiction task forces and, where appropriate, to non- participating law enforcement agencies, in accordance with federal regulations.

The ISC also conducts surveys and provides analytical and investigative training to area law enforcement personnel. Training is coordinated through the National HIDTA Assistance Center (NHAC) when possible to maximize and coordinate training opportunities to all Ohio HIDTA task force personnel.

Participating Agencies:

Federal: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), United States Attorney's Office (USAO), United States Marshals Service (USMS), Office of the Inspector General, United States Postal Inspector (USPI).

State/Local: ACE, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Ohio National Guard, Akron PD, Alliance PD, Austintown PD, Bay Village PD, Beaver Township PD, Boardman PD, Brookpark PD, CANE, Canfield PD, Canton PD, Cleveland PD, Cleveland Heights PD, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority PD, Cincinnati PD, Columbus PD, Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, East Cleveland PD, DART, Dayton PD, Euclid PD, Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Fairfield County Sheriff's Office, Geauga County Sheriff's Office, Greene County Sheriff's Office, Huber Heights PD, Independence PD, Jackson Township PD, Liberty PD, Louisville PD, Lucas County Sheriff's Office, Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, Massillon PD, Monroe County (MI) Sheriff's Office, Montgomery county Sheriff's Office, Northwood PD, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Orange PD, Parma PD, Perry Township PD, Perrysburg Township PD, Poland Township PD, Poland Village PD, Regional Transit Authority PD, SEAL (Southeast Area Law Enforcement Narcotics), Shaker Heights PD, Stark County Sheriff's Office, Struther's PD, Summit County Sheriff's Office, SWORD, Sylvania PD, Toledo PD, Trootwood PD, Trumbull County Sheriff's Office, Warren County Sheriff's Office, Warren-Clinton Drug/Strategic Operations Task Force, Warrensville Heights PD, Westlake PD, Wickliffe PD, Wood County Sheriff's Office, Youngstown PD, Youngstown State Univ. PD.

Significant Achievements:

One of the highlights of the year was the dismantling of a Miami-based South- American heroin drug trafficking organization by the Ohio HIDTA Caribbean/Gang Drug Task Force. Title III monitoring revealed numerous Cleveland area heroin customers supplied by two Columbian couriers. Cleveland federally indicted 18 members of this DTO and FBI Miami indicted 5 subjects. This investigation also resulted in the seizure of
2.4 kilograms of heroin. As a result of Cleveland and Miami's efforts, this international heroin trafficking organization has been completely dismantled. Resulting form the above, a major New York heroin supplier to the Cleveland distributors was federally convicted after a week-long trial.

Because of the increased concern of heroin trafficking in the Ohio HIDTA region, intelligence analysts assigned to the Investigative Support Center chose �The Emerging Heroin Threat� as the theme of the 2004 Drug Intelligence Symposium, hosted by the Ohio HIDTA each fall. This annual symposium, identified as a �best practice,� brings together intelligence analysts and investigators in an effort to share intelligence, discuss timely issues, and establish professional networks in the counterdrug and counterterrorsim communities.

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Last Updated: February 7, 2005

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