Federally-Formed Strike Force To Pursue Drug Traffickers & Violent Criminals Who Crisscross Greater KC's State Line
COMBAT-Funded Jackson County Drug Task Force 1 Of 4 Local Agencies Participating
State Line Road Arrest
“Crime does not stop at the state line and neither does the Strike Force.


The COMBAT-funded Jackson County Drug Task Force is now helping pursue drug traffickers and violent criminals who crisscross the Missouri-Kansas border. The Task Force has joined a new Kansas City Metro Strike Force that, according to the U.S. Attorney for Kansas, Stephen McAllister, has been established to apprehend “individuals poisoning our community with drugs and violence” on both sides of the state line.

“Crime does not stop at the state line and neither does the Strike Force,” McAllister declared during a news conference announcing the Strike Force’s formation on Wednesday.

'United Front Against Drug Trafficking & Violent Crime'

The Jackson County Drug Task Force is one of four local agencies participating in this Strike Force, along with the Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, police departments, as well as the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. They’ll be joining forces with multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, the  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service.

Participating agencies have agreed to assign full-time personnel to the Strike Force, which will operate under the U.S. Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces’ (OCDETF) oversight.

“This new Strike Force presents a united front against drug trafficking and violent crime throughout the metropolitan area,” said Tim Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. “We are marshaling agents and officers from both Missouri and Kansas under the same roof and equipping them with additional investigative resources to better protect our community from the violent scourge of drug trafficking.”

Task Force Accustomed To Working With Federal Officials

For the Jackson County Drug Task Force working with federal agencies has essentially become standard operating procedure, with Task Force detectives tracing many of the drugs they’ve seized back to Mexican cartels. (In mid-October, the Task Force discovered 144 pounds of methamphetamine hidden inside tires in an investigation that resulted in the U.S Attorney’s office filing charges against an individual suspected of being a cartel distributor.)

“Our Task Force has been at the forefront of dealing with the harsh reality that drug trafficking in Jackson County and the whole metropolitan region is now very much an international operation,” said COMBAT Director Vince Ortega. “The Task Force is accustomed to working with federal authorities on these cases, so having the detectives from the Task Force be a part of this new Strike Force is a natural fit.”

One Of Several Metropolitan Regions With A Strike Force

The Strike Force was officially launched earlier this year, according to a Justice Department news release, to target “drug trafficking organizations that are making the streets of metro Kansas City less safe and more violent by importing large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and other drugs from Mexico and elsewhere.” The Strike Force’s goal is to “disrupt and dismantle” these organizations—gangs, cartels and others—engaged in drug trafficking, money laundering and illegal firearm possession and sales.

“The majority of the Task Force's caseload in recent years has been directly related to the Mexican cartels," Ortega said. "As a result, the Task Force's COMBAT-funded efforts have been focused on the violent crime that is inherently involved with drug trafficking, and it's only logical that the Task Force be included in this Strike Force initiative.

"COMBAT funding the Task Force has proven to be highly effective at taking drugs and violent criminals off our streets."

Greater Kansas City joins these other metropolitan regions with OCDETF Strike Forces: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, North Texas, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Juan, Southeast Michigan and Tampa. 
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