WASHINGTON – The United States Department of Justice announced today the addition of 23 new federal prosecutors to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program. Today’s announcement is the second phase of the Justice Department’s rollout of 28 OCDETF prosecutors, five of which are dedicated to the southwest border and were announced last week by Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales in New Mexico.
The OCDETF Program works to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking and money laundering organizations which supply illegal drugs to the United States. The Task Force brings together the expertise and statutory authorities of seven federal law enforcement agencies – including components of the Departments of Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security – and state and local partners, under the leadership of the United States Attorneys’ Offices.
“Stopping the spread of drugs in our communities is one of the top priorities of the Justice Department,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “These new prosecutors will be targeting the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world.”
During fiscal year 2005, OCDETF investigations resulted in 9,898 defendants charged and 7,856 convictions. In the same time period, OCDETF investigations resulted in seizures totalling $330 million. Including the 28 positions added as of today, 115 prosecutors have been added to the OCDETF Program since fiscal year 2004, for a total of 588.
The Department of Justice will add new OCDETF AUSAs to the following federal law enforcement districts: Middle District of Alabama, Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Eastern District of Arkansas, Central District of California, Southern District of California, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Georgia, Northern District of Illinois, District of Kansas, Eastern District of Kentucky, District of Nebraska, District of New Hampshire, District of New Mexico, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, Southern District of Ohio, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, District of Puerto Rico, Western District of Tennessee, Eastern District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, Eastern District of Washington, Western District of Washington and the District of Wyoming.