We lead off today's blog post with a short-hand moniker for an otherwise unwieldy designation of words.
And here it is: HIDTA.
We wonder if that rings a bell for many of our readers across Idaho.
It just might. It is an acronym denoting an organization that operates nationally -- and in a well-entrenched manner inside Idaho -- and has an annual budget of hundreds of millions of dollars. Its special agents number in the hundreds and are reportedly active in nearly one-fifth of the counties across the country.
We suspect that the term "special agent" might have dropped a sizable hint regarding what HIDTA is centrally about. The purpose of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, as stated on a DEA webpage, is "to reduce drug trafficking and production in the Unites States."
And that encompasses Idaho in a big way, as noted in a Southern Idaho news outlet chronicling HIDTA's close involvement with the recent conviction and sentencing of individuals in drug trafficking cases involving the distribution of methamphetamine.
The defendants are from Southern Idaho. Portions of South Central and Southwestern Idaho -- including Magic and Treasure Valley counties, respectively -- receive strong and continued scrutiny from HIDTA operatives and task forces that include state and local enforcement agencies, as well as Indian tribal authorities.
The investigative probes conducted under the auspices of HIDTA and resulting criminal prosecutions render the uncompromising nature of the program starkly clear. Reportedly, a special federal prosecutor working specifically with HIDTA has convicted and sentenced more than 50 individuals for drug trafficking offenses.
Drug crime outcomes can be flatly severe for defendants. As we note on a relevant page of our website at the criminal defense law firm of Palmer George & Taylor PLLC in Coeur d'Alene, "Of all the nonviolent crimes, drug trafficking may carry the most severe penalties."
That reality makes it imperative for any individual who has been arrested or charged with a drug offense in Idaho to secure the timely and aggressive assistance of proven legal counsel.