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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

AG HEALEY’S OFFICE AWARDED MORE THAN $3.8 MILLION TO EXPAND REGIONAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT WORK

AG HEALEY’S OFFICE AWARDED MORE THAN $3.8 MILLION TO EXPAND REGIONAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT WORK

Federal Grant Funding to be Used by AG’s Office and Massachusetts State Police to Further Work of New England Fentanyl Strike Force 

            BOSTON Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that her office is the recipient of a $3.8 million federal grant that will be used as part of the AG’s New England Fentanyl Strike Force to expand efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and disrupt and dismantle drug and fentanyl trafficking throughout New England.

            The grant was awarded by the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Anti-Heroin Task Force grant program. The grant program seeks to help combat illegal drug trafficking and address substance disorder by improving investigations and establishing and enhancing multijurisdictional task forces. The AG’s Office applied for the grant funding with the Massachusetts State Police to continue collaborative enforcement work.

            “For five years, the New England Fentanyl Strike Force has done significant work disrupting and dismantling illicit trafficking operations and taking heroin and fentanyl off of our streets,” said AG Healey. “We are grateful to receive this federal grant to enhance collaboration among law enforcement in combating this growing crisis.”

            “The task force model of combating narcotics trafficking, and the street violence and fatal overdoses that it brings with it, has proven successful time and again.” said Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. “This grant will further our multi-jurisdictional partnerships to interdict traffickers, stem the associated violence, and reduce supply of the drugs to those who battle addiction.”

            The AG’s Office has prioritized combatting the opioid crisis and has been working closely with federal, state and local partners to fight illegal drug trafficking throughout New England. The New England Fentanyl Strike Force was created in 2016 using a $1 million COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force grant, and has been reinforced since then with a $3 million grant in 2018 and a $2.6 million grant in 2019, which have expanded ongoing multistate and cross-jurisdictional investigations.

            Since its launch, the New England Fentanyl Strike Force has seized more than 400 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, nearly 50,000 opioid pills, 125 firearms, millions of dollars in cash, and has arrested 532 suspects, primarily for trafficking heroin, fentanyl, and opioid pills. Task force partners have grown to include the Massachusetts State Police, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the New Hampshire and Rhode Island Attorneys’ General Offices, District Attorneys’ Offices from the following counties: Berkshire, Bristol, Cape & Islands, Hampden, and Plymouth, and approximately 55 other local, county, and state police departments and units.

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