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image of New York City with an overlay of Saluting Police Officers
January 08, 2021

A Salute to the Oldest and Largest Task Force in the Nation

Fifty-one years ago, in response to a surge in violent crime in New York City, three law enforcement agencies created a partnership that would last decades and be used as a role model to law enforcement throughout the nation.

Bureau of Narcotics agents who worked on Mauricio Rosal's case pose with suitcases filled with heroin.
Bureau of Narcotics agents who worked on Mauricio Rosal's case pose with suitcases filled with heroin.

Executives from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s predecessor, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, were part of a group that formed a coalition between the New York City Police Department and the New York State Police that has become known as the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, NYDETF.

NYDETF meets Diego Murrillo Bejarano “Don Bernardo” upon his extradition from Colombia.

Over the years, the NYDETF has grown into an abominable drug law enforcement task force leading investigations like the French Connection, prosecutions of major Colombian and Mexican cartels and their leaders, and seizing multi-million kilogram amounts of drugs.  Most recently, the media has recognized the NYDETF worldwide for their efforts in bringing to justice the most violent and prolific drug traffickers like Diego Murillo “Don Bernardo”; Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia “Chupeta”; Manuel Felipe Salazar-Espinosa “Hoover”; Joaquin Guzman Loera “El Chapo”; Daniel Rendon Herrera “Don Mario”; Daniel Barrera Barrera “El Loco”; and Alfredo Beltran Leyva.

Members of NYDETF REDRUM unit arrested member of a home invasion crew.

The NYDETF is a model for interagency cooperation that operations globally and also locally by targeting and dismantling trafficking organizations responsible for fueling drug addiction in the New York area.  The co-mingled and co-managed task force has transformed New York City neighborhoods by utilizing each agency’s resources to target and fully dismantle trafficking organizations and their sources of supply.  Unique to the NYDETF, there is a REDRUM group which focuses investigations on extremely violent drug traffickers.  Originally, the group was tasked with addressing the multiple murders associated with Colombian drug trafficking operations in the 1990’s, and has since focused on violent home invasion organizations, kidnappings and drug-related murders.

Members of the DEA, NYPD, NYSP gather to pay tribute to six Colombian National Police Officers who were killed in the line of duty.

For over fifty years, the NYDEFT has earned respect throughout New York and global law enforcement circles.   Hundreds of detectives, investigators, and agents have walked the hallways of the NYDETF, spent countless hours investigating, arresting, and prosecuting drug trafficking organizations responsible for fueling drug abuse, addiction, and overdose deaths.  The NYDETF was built on a foundation of teamwork between the three agencies with a common mission and that teamwork has only gotten stronger throughout time.   Today, we applaud and salute the NYPD and NYSP on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day for their teamwork and tradition of excellence at the NYDETF.

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