Associated Press Published

New Program Aimed at Drug Traffickers Shows Promise


West Virginia officials say a recent focus on combatting heroin in the state’s eastern panhandle is off to a strong start.

The Journal of Martinsburg reports that a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program was launched in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in June.

As part of the federally funded initiative, authorities have been focusing both on cracking down on trafficking and on identifying people who need treatment.

West Virginia State Police Capt. Eric Widmyer says the money has helped departments fund more road patrols and find more drugs. State troopers seized more than $200,000 of drugs in June.

The HIDTA federal grant program started in 1988 with the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act and gives funds to areas designated at a high risk for drug trafficking.