Washington, DC – Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced today that the District has joined the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force (NEMA-HTF), which fosters collaboration across multiple state law-enforcement agencies to fight heroin distribution networks and the associated rise in fatalities from heroin overdoses. The effort is the latest example of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) collaborating with partners to fight emerging trends in dangerous drugs – such as heroin and synthetic cannabinoids – that the District is facing or may soon face.
The District is the eighth state-level jurisdiction to join NEMA-HTF, which includes Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Maine.
“Other states in our region are seeing a serious spike in deaths from heroin overdoses, and regional cooperation is vital to devising and implementing comprehensive solutions – including education, treatment and enforcement,” Attorney General Racine said. “We want to get ahead of the problem in the District of Columbia, and we are pleased to partner with other Attorney General offices in the Mid-Atlantic region.”
Because heroin-distribution networks often cross state lines, the Task Force will facilitate a first-of-its-kind level of collaboration and information sharing between state Attorneys General and other law enforcement officials. Shared information includes suspects and persons of interest, distribution routes and stash houses used to store heroin, and best practices in education and outreach efforts aimed at fighting heroin addiction.
OAG Emerging Drug Trends Task Force
The District’s effort to collaborate on drug trends with other law-enforcement officials in the Northeast through NEMA-HTF is part of the work of OAG’s Emerging Drug Trends (EDT) Task Force. Attorney General Racine formed the team earlier this year in response to the resurgence of heroin abuse and increasing problems related to synthetic cannabinoids in the District. The EDT Task Force analyzes and coordinates OAG’s response to emerging drugs and drug-use trends in the District.
The EDT Task Force is led by Deputy Attorney General for Public Safety Tamar Meekins and is composed of Assistant Attorneys General and staff from multiple OAG divisions. They combat new and existing drug trends in the District using a multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary approach, including researching drug trends, working with local and federal partner agencies to coordinate efforts and share information, providing education and outreach to affected communities and groups, and studying best practices from other jurisdictions.