Sen. Ben Nelson applauded the Office of National Drug Control Policy's announcement that it has designated Nebraska's Lincoln County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area county.
The designation comes after Sen. Nelson Sent a letter to the NDCP office relating the large amount of federal drug cases initiated in Lincoln County. In 2010, Lincoln County law enforcement agencies reported
69 violent crimes and 352 drug abuse violations.
The new designation will bring federal resources to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts aimed at curbing the distribution of illegal drugs in a critical drug-trafficking region in the United States.
"I fully support the designation of Lincoln County as a HIDTA county, and firmly believe today's announcement by the Office of National Drug Control Policy will further enhance drug law enforcement efforts to combat illegal drugs not only in Lincoln County and the State of Nebraska, but across the United States," said Senator Nelson.
Lincoln County serves as the crossroads of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 83, both of which are major transportation routes for the distribution of narcotics across the country.
In addition, North Platte is home to the world's largest railroad classification yard where a high volume of railroad activity has made it an accessible target for the transportation of illegal substances.
Six gangs have also been identified in Lincoln County with ties to drug distribution which have increased the distribution of methamphetamine throughout the area (according to ONDCP).
The director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, said that Lincoln County will join other Nebraska counties including Dakota, Dawson, Dodge, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster, Madison, Platte, Sarpy, and Scotts Bluff Counties as part of the Midwest HIDTA.
"Drug use and its consequences stand in the way of raising healthy children, maintaining strong families, supporting economic prosperity, and keeping our communities safe," said Kerlikowske.