Members of the HSI-led Missouri Gateway Task Force were recently awarded the prestigious 2016 OCDETF Director’s Award for Group Achievements. The award was presented Sept. 29 at the RAC St. Louis office by OCDETF Assistant U.S. Attorney James C. Delworth, Eastern District of Missouri.
In 2009, RAC St. Louis developed partnerships with state and local law enforcement to combat the proliferation of narcotics and bulk cash smuggling in the greater St. Louis area. These partnerships led to creation of the Missouri Gateway Task Force (MGTF) in 2010, a task force composed of HSI special agents, analysts and support staff, and state and local police officers. MGTF’s mission is to identify, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations at the local level. However, with several major interstate highways intersecting within the St. Louis area of responsibility, MGTF was quickly recognized as having an equally impactful effect on national criminal organizations transiting through the St. Louis area. MGTF has successfully identified and intercepted members of national drug trafficking organizations and generated intelligence and investigations for law enforcement throughout the U.S. and in Mexico.
Since its creation, MGTF has made 216 arrests for federal and state crimes related to drugs, racketeering and money laundering; and it seized more than $11 million in U.S. currency, 2,400 kilograms of narcotics, 27 vehicles, and two residences. This cooperation and collaboration between federal and local law enforcement entities exemplifies the principal mission of the OCDETF program – to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for this nation’s drug supply.