Skip to main content
Press Release

Federal designation brings new resources to Jefferson County

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

JEFFERSON COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA – The addition of Jefferson County, West Virginia to a federal anti-drug trafficking program will bolster efforts to loosen the grip of addiction in the Eastern Panhandle, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

Yesterday, Jefferson County was designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).  The HIDTA program, administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, brings additional federal resources to regions of the United States that have been particularly impacted by drug trafficking and substance abuse, such as the Eastern Panhandle.  The program is designed to spark enhanced intelligence sharing, communication, and cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in order to reduce the influence of illegal drugs in regional communities.

Jefferson County will join Berkeley County as part of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA, which also serves Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, and is a leader in innovative, rapid data collection and analysis. The intelligence resources provided will allow law enforcement in Jefferson County to take a data-driven approach to the dismantling of large-scale drug trafficking organizations.

“Jefferson County sits right in the middle of a major corridor for the transportation of drugs to the East Coast,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld.  “Because of its proximity to large metropolitan areas and interstate highways, and because of various economic factors, it has become an extension of the Baltimore drug market.  The HIDTA designation will help us to push back against drug traffickers and make our community a safer place to live and raise a family.”

“This is good news for Jefferson County,” noted Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty. “Becoming a HIDTA county brings a variety of important resources to our area that will help us to stop drugs from coming into our county, aid us in arresting drug traffickers, and improve the availability of treatment resources for those addicted to drugs. The new designation will allow us to take a more comprehensive approach with an increased focus on the underlying causes of illegal drug use. I am particularly excited to add an additional resource that allows us to better protect local residents.”

The HIDTA program was first established in 1988 through the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. Today, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy operates 28 HIDTAs throughout the United States, encompassing approximately 60% of the country’s population. Individuals interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to visit the Office of National Drug Control Policy website at  

Updated January 15, 2016

Drug Trafficking