Maloney Asks DEA to Deploy Heroin Enforcement Team to Hudson Valley
WASHINGTON – After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the establishment of six new enforcement teams to stop the flow of heroin and fentanyl, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) asked the Administration to focus its efforts on the Hudson Valley in addition to Long Island. It is expected that the teams will track leads throughout the region, but Rep. Maloney specifically called upon the DEA to provide assistance to folks in the Hudson Valley.
“We have to crack down on heroin and fentanyl traffickers with every weapon in our arsenal – and that should include a top-notch enforcement team,” said Rep. Maloney. “These guys are the real deal and communities across the Hudson Valley could use all the help we can get from the DEA.”
According to the New York State Office on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Orange and Dutchess Counties both have proportionally higher rates of opioid-related deaths per capita than Long Island. The Hudson Valley is also situated at a geographic crossroads that make it an ideal location for trafficking narcotics. Maloney has asked that the DEA analyze efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and its wide-spread distribution in the Hudson Valley. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 64,000 overdose deaths nationwide in 2016, or approximately 175 per day, half of which were caused by opioids.
A full copy of the letter is below. You can also find a scanned version of the letter by clicking here.
Dear Administrator Patterson,
I write to thank you for your efforts to combat the flow of heroin and illicit fentanyl across the country. The opioid epidemic has destroyed far too many lives and infiltrated countless neighborhoods from California to New York. It is my belief that our continued collaboration will strengthen efforts to dismantle this deadly epidemic and supply local law enforcement with the resources it needs to put an end to this rampant tragedy once and for all.
As you may know, I was able to work with the Office of National Drug Control Policy to expand the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation here in the Hudson Valley. Our efforts resulted in classifying the entire region as a contiguous HIDTA zone, which supplied our partners in local law enforcement with critical resources needed to address the distribution and sale of narcotics. I was pleased to learn of your efforts to establish six new enforcement teams across the country that will undoubtedly help put an end to this deadly epidemic.
While I fully understand all of the factors that went into determining where your enforcement teams are stationed, I respectfully ask that your Long Island task force extend its jurisdiction to include the Hudson Valley. According to NYS Office on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the Long Island Region reported 1,067 opioid related deaths from 2013-2015. Comparatively, my Congressional District has lower reported deaths but at notably higher rates per capita. Since January of this year alone, St. Luke’s Hospital in Orange County has reported over 120 overdoses, with nearly 13 of those resulting in fatalities. These rates are alarming and your assistance is needed to help mitigate this devastating issue here in the Hudson Valley.
As you can imagine, the HIDTA designation has brought significant attention to the trafficking and distribution hubs across the Hudson Valley. Your assistance is needed to ensure that this designation receives the back-up it needs to continue the great work we have started. Please know, I stand ready to be your partner and help to facilitate to critical collaboration among my colleagues in the law enforcement community.
Again, thank you for your consideration in this matter. I look forward to working with the DEA to continue to combat the opioid epidemic here in the Hudson Valley.