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Multijurisdictional Drug Task Forces: An Enforcement Approach to Drugs in Indiana

NCJ Number
Date Published
15 pages
Summary information is presented on the operations of 19 multijurisdictional drug task forces (MDTF's) in Indiana during 1988; all received grant funds under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act and operational data were obtained from quarterly task force reports and a survey of task force project directors.
MDTF's were established to enhance the ability of Federal, State, and local criminal justice authorities to target narcotics trafficking conspiracies and to arrest, prosecute, and convict drug offenders. Specific MDTF objectives were to disrupt drug trafficking in targeted communities, to develop narcotics intelligence systems for targeting drug investigation and enforcement efforts, to remove drugs from jurisdictions and limit their availability, to establish cooperative enforcement networks among criminal justice agencies, and to seize the property of convicted drug offenders. Task force resources included nearly $1.3 million to support task force personnel, including narcotics investigators, undercover agents, prosecutors, and other enforcement professionals. Other resources were spent for equipment and the purchase of evidence and information. Most task forces started arresting offenders and confiscating drugs during their first year of operation. Most drug arrests involved cocaine or marijuana; 82 percent of those arrested were males, 89 percent were 18 years of age or older, and most were arrested for distributing or possessing drugs. More than half of the task forces seized assets of drug offenders, and the estimated value of these assets totaled $1,466,288. Task force project directors indicated that some progress had been made in building the drug enforcement capacity of law enforcement agencies; that improvements had been made in communications, coordination, and the development of drug intelligence networks; but that drug availability and drug dealing in their jurisdictions had not changed in response to task force operations. Project directors noted difficulties in implementing task forces, such as friction among law enforcement agencies, cumbersome grant regulations, and lack of guidance. Tables and figures