New Headquarters for Imperial Drug Task Force

Lockyer praises task force efforts, joins local officials for dedication ceremony

Thursday, May 27, 1999
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

EL CENTRO - Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Imperial County District Attorney Gilbert G. Otero joined today with other law enforcement officials to dedicate the new headquarters of the Imperial County Narcotic Task Force (ICNTF) in El Centro.

"This new facility reflects our commitment to providing better law enforcement services to Imperial County and the rest of the state," Lockyer said, "The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force - which has been in continuous operation for 26 years - made over 400 arrests and seized $20 million in drugs last year. We are pleased to be able to upgrade facilities and support the cooperative crime fighting efforts in this region."

The facility will house the task force whose staff represent 15 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The facility also will house the recently created Border Interdiction Team of the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.

"The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force is one of our major lines of defense against the illegal narcotics trade along the border," Otero said. "Having the new facility is important support for this effort. It also is welcomed support to have the Attorney General visit Imperial County."

Others joining in the dedication ceremony were Imperial County Sheriff Harold Carter; Imperial County Chief Probation Officer Michael Kelley, task force executive board vice chairman; and other representatives of local, state, and federal agencies.

In 1998, the ICNTF made 400 arrests, including 192 on felony drug charges, and seized nearly 8,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 180 pounds of cocaine, five pounds of methamphetamine, and three pounds of heroin. The drugs seized were worth an estimated $20 million in street value. In 1998, the ICNTF seized 21 firearms, and so far in 1999, the task force has seized 35 firearms, including three AK-47 assault rifles. The ICNTF is one of 32 task forces supervised by the California Department of Justice.

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