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Narcotics Unit

The Narcotics Unit operates within the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri.

The work of the Narcotics Unit focuses on the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act,which sets out federal criminal offenses involving unlawful importation, possession and distribution of controlled substances, and rules concerning civil and criminal forfeiture of contraband, facilities used to further unlawful drug trafficking, and the proceeds of unlawful drug trafficking. The unit also handles drug-related crimes such as homicides, guns and gang activities.

While many drug-related crimes can also be prosecuted in the state systems, the federal judicial system offers much stiffer punishment for drug offenders, no parol (early release), and conspiracy laws that allow for the effective prosecution of large networks of individuals who might be scattered across several cities, states or nations. Therefore, larger, more complicated, multi-jurisdictional cases come to the United States Attorney's Office, while street level dealers and users typically are prosecuted in state court. It is not atypical for a federal drug investigation that originates in Kansas City, Missouri to include charges against traffickers/suppliers in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Mexico, Latin American, or European countries, or to result in lifetime prison sentences for these defendants.

The Narcotics Unit works with a wide variety of federal (DEA, FBI, ATF, Customs, IRS, INS), state (Missouri Highway Patrol) , local (Metro Meth and Jackson County Drug Task Force) as well as all the investigative agencies with all municipalities of the Kansas City, Springfield, St. Joseph, Joplin and Jefferson City metropolitan areas in the battle against narcotic trafficking. In addition, eight rural tasks forces manned by a combination of federal, state and local agents present cases for review, allowing the United States Attorney to prosecute drug criminals across the entirety of the Western District of Missouri.

In the recent past, the Narcotics Unit has paid particular attention, first to cocaine in the 1980s, and then to methamphetamine, which had been dramatically increasing in use and distribution in the Midwest. Missouri, second only to California in methamphetamine production since the early 1990s, was seriously overwhelmed. In response to the meth problem, in December of 1996 the Office of National Drug Control Policy created the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which included Missouri. Dozens of local, state and federal agencies received an infusion of federal funds to reduce and disrupt the importation, distribution and clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine, HIDTA's original mission. The mission has since evolved into a poly-drug strategy as methamphetamine has leveled off and new drugs such as Ecstacy, GHB and Ketamine have become popular.

To contact the Narcotics Unit, call 1-800-733-6558, or locally in Kansas City call 816-426-3122.

Related Links

Just Think Twice
DEA site contains information about the dangers and societal impact of a variety of popular illegal narcotics, including meth.

National Drug Intelligence Center

National Institute on Drug Abuse
Club Drugs Initiative

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