The designation was sought by the counties and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who announced it. Last year, McConnell hosted ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli in Kenton County “so he could see firsthand how Northern Kentucky has been devastated by the drug epidemic,” A McConnell news release said.
“A HIDTA designation allows us to efficiently leverage federal resources along with those of state and local partners to directly benefit particularly hard-hit counties, such as those in Northern Kentucky,” McConnell said in the release. “Given its geographic proximity to Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties and what I am told about the flow of illicit drugs into the region from Ohio, designation under Ohio HIDTA is a sensible and substantial step to combating the production, distribution and trafficking of illicit substances in the commonwealth.”
Chris Conners, Director of the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force, said the move “will enhance intelligence sharing, improve joint investigative efforts, and provide training and badly needed resources to address the current problems we face.”