Senator Schumer advocates for Sullivan County to be designated a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) to combat opioid crisis.



By Patricio Robayo

MONTICELLO—U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer returned to Monticello to push for the designation of the county as a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This move aims to provide additional resources to the Sullivan County Drug Task Force in its fight against the opioid epidemic.


“Sullivan County continues to have the highest opioid death rate per capita in all of New York State. Yet, Sullivan County is the only county in the Hudson Valley that’s not a federally designated High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. That’s an anomaly. How could you have the highest rate and not be designated I would call it bureaucracy.”


Senator Schumer said Sullivan County did apply to be designed as a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area or  (HIDTA) but was denied due to technical difficulties.


“They basically said they didn’t show a nexus between Sullivan County and other counties. It’s absurd. Just look at all the fentanyl deaths. The fentanyl didn’t come from Sullivan County. But we’re going to strive to straighten that out. That’s why we’re here.”


Senator Schumer met with local officials and law enforcement to review and refine their new application for the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) designation, which is due by the end of the month. 


Schumer said that he is committed to ensuring that the application is properly prepared and will work closely with Dr. Rahul Gupta, the United States Director of National Drug Control Policy, to ensure that the designation is successfully obtained. 


“Today, we put our heads together and how to get the best application possible and send it on March 31. And then I’m going to do everything I can to see that it’s approved; I’m not going to let them have an excuse.”

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