DHEThe Highway Enforcement Team is an interdiction and enforcement activity designed to disrupt the flow of drugs on Lake County highways. This initiative will contribute to the National HIDTA Domestic Highway Enforcement (DHE) Strategy by focusing interdiction efforts on the interstate network that flows to and through Chicago, an area currently uncovered by any coordinated law enforcement interdiction activities. This effort will closely coordinate with the Region V Interdiction Coordinator and other HIDTAs in the region to ensure full and efficient coverage to maximize results. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) has designated this as a major narcotics shipment corridor.
An estimated 134,000 vehicles per day, both commercial trucks and private cars, utilize Interstate 80/94 to traverse Lake County; while another 48,000 daily use Interstate 90. Major Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) transport large loads of cocaine and marijuana directly from the Southwest Border to both Chicago and Lake County for storage, distribution and onward movement. Traffickers use the highways to transport most of the illicit drugs into and across the county as well as to move vast sums of illicit proceeds across and out of the county.
The initiative is composed of state and local law enforcement officers working under the supervision of the Indiana State Police, who will provide day to day supervision of the officers. The DEA-led Lake County Combined Task Force (LCCTF), a collocated entity working within the facility will collaboratively work interdiction investigations to assist in controlled deliveries and developing investigative leads from the interdiction seizures.
A supervisor from the Indiana State Police will coordinate, schedule and provide oversight to the uniformed components of the highway enforcement team. This person will coordinate approximately 10 interdiction officers whose function will be to interdict drugs, drug currency, weapons of mass destruction and other illegal items on Lake County highways.
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