The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize a significant achievement of the Missouri River Drug Task Force (MRDTF). Recently, the Board of Directors for MRDTF nominated them for the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Rural Outstanding Task Force of the year award.
For many years, the MRDTF has been an extremely successful collaboration of multiple agencies. In 2011, coordinated efforts between the local, state and federal agents along with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Missouri River HIDTA Drug Task Force targeted nine major drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s). Five of those organizations were disrupted and one major DTO was dismantled. Three of the targeted cases were approved and designated under Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) status. The agency seized $117,272.00 in assets and recovered 33 weapons. These are significant results for this agency and reflect on the commitment of the MRDTF Board, Task Force Commander, agents and US Attorney’s Office to pursue HIDTA cases to the highest level.
This is a unique task force unit in that the task force covers six counties, has six local parent agencies to include: Gallatin County, the Bozeman Police Department, Lewis & Clark County, the Helena Police Department, Park County, and Broadwater County. Each of these agencies provide personnel and have a jurisdiction spanning over a hundred miles between key cities/towns. It is not feasible for all the agents to be collocated in one office due to the distance and time it would take to respond to calls or investigate cases. The agents instead operate out of offices within their county and coordinate or assist other offices as needed.
There are currently seven local agents, one state agent and two dedicated federal agents. Four local agents and one HSI agent primarily investigate cases in the southern and western counties and three local, one state DCI agent and one FBI agent investigate cases in the central and northern counties. While the emphasis for the investigators is to focus on targeting and investigating DTO operations locally and expanding out to the source location, our agents simultaneously carry an extensive caseload of street level investigations as well. This is no small undertaking given the very limited manpower assigned to the drug units in each county. The agents recorded 151 felony state and federal arrests in 2011 with numerous suspects being indicted or are pending indictment in 2012 from investigations that began in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, it should be noted that the two local agents in the Helena HIDTA office were in their first year of service with the task force as was the Task Force Commander. That is an incredible testament to the level of communication, dedication and cooperation of the unit commander, local state and federal agents.
The MRDTF agents have coordinated with various levels of out-of-state law enforcement to assist them with suspect identification, information sharing, intelligence, and use of Confidential Informants in an effort to assist them in developing a case or gaining critical avenues into a known DTO.
The TF Commander and MRDTF agents have clearly demonstrated exemplary interagency cooperation and support of the HIDTA program. Their efforts have resulted in a substantial reduction in the amount of Mehtamphetamine and Cocaine availability locally.
We are proud to announce that the Missouri River Drug Task Force has been selected as the 2012 Rocky Mountain HIDTA Rural Task Force of the Year.