DEA Washington Division Launches Operation Overdrive
A New Initiative to Combat Drug-Related Violence and Overdoses in Communities Across Our Area
WASHINGTON – Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced their new initiative -- Operation Overdrive -- aimed at combatting the rising rates of drug-related violent crime and overdose deaths plaguing American communities. In January, the DEA Washington Division announced their new data-driven approach to combatting violent crime and overdose deaths across the area, in order to devote its law enforcement resources to where they will have the most impact: the communities where criminal drug networks are causing the most harm.
Operation Overdrive, launching in 34 cities and 23 states across the U.S., is launching in 3 cities in our area – Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Richmond, Virginia. Operation Overdrive aims to use a data-driven, intelligence-led approach to identifying and dismantling criminal drug networks operating in areas with the highest rates of violence and overdoses. The DEA Washington Division, working in partnership with its fellow federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, has mapped these threats and initiated enforcement operations against networks in these locations, to combat the issue.
Operation Overdrive revealed alarming trends about the networks that the DEA has mapped. The vast majority of the identified criminal drug networks in this area are engaged in gun violence and similarly violent crimes. These criminal drug networks sell fentanyl and/or methamphetamine – extremely dangerous drugs that are causing the vast majority of overdoses in our communities.
Today, the tri-state area, as well as the United States as a whole, is facing an unprecedented overdose epidemic, claiming 275 lives every day. Violence, often associated with drug-related activity, is also rising sharply nationwide: in 2020, homicides increased a record 30 percent, and deadly drug overdoses increased well over 40 percent in our area to an all-time high. In 2021, the DEA and its law enforcement partners seized more than 8,700 firearms connected to investigations of drug trafficking organizations. The DEA Washington Division, along with its local partners, is rolling out Operation Overdrive to combat these issues head-on.
“The effects that drug-related violent crimes have on victims, families, and our local communities are as obvious as they are tragic,” said DEA Washington Division Special Agent in Charge, Jarod Forget. “We will not stand for violent crime in our neighborhoods. Whether it be gun-related crime, drug overdoses, or other crimes we see ravaging our sense of security – we are standing up against the problem. We’re committed to working hard, along with our area partners, to bring a greater sense of safety to all of our residents.”
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