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July 22, 2022Washington, DC, United StatesOperational, Narcotics

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recognizes Homeland Security Investigations for outstanding narcotics interdiction operations

HSI receives 4 of the 9 awards presented at White House ceremony

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), along with other law enforcement partners from across the country, was recognized by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) at the United States Interdiction Committee (USIC) Awards, July 21. The awards recognize law enforcement partners for their work disrupting the flow of illicit narcotics and strengthening the nation’s response to the overdose epidemic through multi-jurisdictional collaboration.

“Our incredible HSI special agents play an instrumental role in the detection, disruption, and dismantling of individuals and criminal networks engaged in transnational narcotics smuggling and trafficking,” said acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director P.J. Lechleitner. “I am proud to recognize our dedicated professionals and honored to partner with ONDCP – we will continue to work tirelessly to contribute to whole-of-government efforts that take down those engaged in these crimes and keep global communities safe.”

Awardees from across the United States were selected from a list of more than 100 highly-qualified nominees; the work of these agencies and individuals helps advance the administration’s National Drug Control Strategy. HSI and its field offices received four of the nine awards for calendar year 2021 including:

  • Major Campaign and Strategic Planning: The law enforcement partnership between HSI Seattle High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Task Force and Seattle Police Department sustained a campaign to disrupt transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) engaged in the manufacture and distribution of synthetic opioids and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.
  • Detection and Monitoring: HSI Memphis targeted the criminal supply chains of several criminal organizations and seized kilogram quantities of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin.
  • Interdiction and Intelligence Support: HSI New York Dark Web and Cryptocurrency Task Force successfully targeted illicit actors that utilized the dark web to conduct and conceal criminal activity. In 2021, this unit arrested a dozen suspects and seized firearms, cocaine, fentanyl, and more than $1.5 million in illicit proceeds.
  • Special Recognition/Counter-Narcotics Force Enables: HSI International Operations targeted the supply chains of TCOs throughout South and Central America.

The Safer America Plan is a proposal aimed at keeping communities and lives safe. The plan proposes imposing tougher penalties for fentanyl trafficking; investing in services like mental health and substance use disorder to reduce burdens on law enforcement so they can focus on violent crimes; ensuring people in criminal justice settings have access to treatment; and ending sentencing disparities on crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Read the fact sheet for the plan online.

About the Award Program

The ONDCP USIC Award Program was established in 2003 to recognize the superior efforts and achievements of agencies and individuals on the frontlines of drug interdiction. This program has evolved to recognize individuals and units (teams) across the interagency who have excelled in addressing illicit drug trafficking an everchanging, dynamic drug environment. The award categories and selection criteria encompass the entire interdiction continuum.

About Homeland Security Investigations

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 86 overseas locations in 55 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 08/24/2022