The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team was honored as Oregon's 2012 "Outstanding Task Force of the Year" Tuesday by the Oregon High Intensity Trafficking Area and the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association.
Here's a summary of the drug team's recent work and background, as provided by Bend police Lt. Chris Carney:
The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team, which is based in Bend, was originally formed in July 1991 and pre-dates HIDTA in Deschutes County and Central Oregon by several years and was first funded by HIDTA in 2000.
The enforcement initiative is a multi-agency task force that includes investigators and support personnel from various Central Oregon law enforcement agencies, the Oregon State Police, DEA and the Oregon National Guard.
It is the mission of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team to suppress patterns of major criminal drug activity by detecting and apprehending members of organizations who are manufacturing and trafficking illegal narcotics in the Central Oregon region.
Overall in 2012, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team dismantled seven drug trafficking organizations that were responsible for supplying the Central Oregon region with substantial amounts of narcotics.
The dismantling of seven drug trafficking organizations is the single largest number of DTOs the CODE team has dismantled in a single year. Historically, CODE dismantles 2-3 DTO' in a single year.
All of these cases involved a cooperative effort between our local and federal partners to ensure a successful resolution to these cases.
The closure of these cases resulted in multiple arrests, significant seizures of methamphetamine, and a large amount of property being seized for forfeiture.
Ultimately, the dismantling of these DTOs and their leadership has resulted in a decrease in the availability of methamphetamine on the streets in Central Oregon. Investigations such as these speak to the tenacity and tireless approach these investigators put forth on a routine basis.
2012 saw a significant increase in drug seizures by the CODE Team, to include a 2,000 percent increase in heroin seizures over the amount seized in 2011.
Detectives continued to collaborate with outside agencies, often times traveling outside the area to continue an investigation, hand over investigations to other task forces or assist agencies when a case reaches our jurisdiction.
"The overall performance of the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team in 2012 is nothing less than remarkable," Carney wrote. "The success of the team is a direct result of the teamwork, work ethic, passion and commitment to the mission, which is displayed on a daily basis by all members of the team."