The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack and reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States and diminish the violence and other criminal activity associated with the drug trade. OCDETF is headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, but operates nationwide and combines the resources and the expertise of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and numerous federal agencies to target drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The DEA has been a decades long partner with OCDETF and since OCDETF’s inception tens of thousands arrests have been made and hundreds of tons of narcotics and billions in currency, real property, and conveyances all have been seized.
The OCDETF strategy is rooted in financial resource provision. OCDETF provides federal resources to DEA and other partner law enforcement agencies to mitigate financial obstacles hindering criminal investigations. These criminal investigations are conducted by multi-agencies in a collaborated effort. This collaborated effort led the way to the creation of Strike Forces. Strike Forces are teams comprised of various law enforcement agencies which are situated in key cities throughout the United States. Strike Forces vary in size, but are all collocated. OCDETF’s financial resources support the Strike Forces and provide the assets needed to conduct thousands of criminal investigations, which traverse the United States and in some instances span to criminal organizations operating in the foreign arena.
In OCDETF’s coordinated attack against drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, OCDETF formulated the Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) list. The CPOT list is a multi-agency target list of “command and control” elements of the most prolific international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Through the combined efforts of DEA and other law enforcement agencies under the OCDETF umbrella, CPOTs are targeted with the goal of disrupting or dismantling their operations.
OCDETF focused resources to combat the opioid crisis through the National Heroin Initiative (NHI) program. DEA receives funding through the NHI program, which allows DEA along with other law enforcement agencies to target opioid-laden areas and communities. The NHI program provides the financial resources allowing DEA to increase its footprint, deploy assets, and progress opioid investigations from the street-level to identification of the source of supply. The NHI program is a valuable tool and it serves as the financial gateway allowing DEA to conduct opioid investigations and not be financially hindered at the onset.
DEA and OCDETF’s mission are of the same accord: Arrest drug traffickers, dismantle and disrupt drug trafficking and money laundering organizations, reduce the illegal drug supply, seize assets, and bring criminals to the United States justice system or competent jurisdiction.