Law enforcement training, networking to combat drug trafficking in southern Mississippi


BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – This is a scenario law enforcement faces too often. A routine traffic stop turns into a major drug bust. This week, several agencies are working together to network and find new ways to get narcotics off the streets.

Southern Mississippi is part of what is known as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This organization holds its meeting on the Coast every year.

“It’s a destination for a lot of these officers. It gives them a chance to come here and focus on training,” said Tim Meadows, special agent in charge of Miss US Homeland Security.

HIDTA is also involved in homeland security and what is called the Blue Lightning Operations Center. It’s positioned here in southern Mississippi.

“Good training, good networking and it builds on their skills,” Meadows added.

For many of these law enforcement officers, when they are on patrol, they are looking for fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is the synthetic opioid that is wreaking havoc in society right now.

“Fentanyl is a real problem in the United States. The opioid epidemic is real. Our stakeholders are finding more fentanyl in bulk. It’s up to the imagination of the person on the other end who wraps it up, and what else is in there is the other guess,” Meadows said. “Through this initiative, we can take a traffic stop and network it into a bigger deal.”

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