DEA Restructuring Includes Louisville Field Division

The first new Field Division in nearly 20 years, it will be established on Jan. 1 and will include Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Nov. 29 announced several actions to "turn the tide," he said, against dangerous drugs—opioids in particular. He announced more than $12 million in grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to boost their efforts against take heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, and other illegal drugs; ordered all U.S. Attorney's offices to designate an opioid coordinator to lead anti-opioid efforts in their communities; and said as of Jan. 1, 2018, the existing Louisville district office will be the Louisville Field Division, with about 90 special agents and 130 task force officers.

It will be DEA's 22nd Field Division and the first to be established in almost 20 years, covering West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and is intended to enhance DEA enforcement efforts in the Appalachian mountain region and unify drug trafficking investigations.

He said the Louisville Field Division will be headed by Special Agent in Charge Christopher Evans, who is coming from the Detroit Field Division.

The U.S. Attorney's offices also will convene a task force of state, federal, and local law enforcement and help to determine which cases to take federal, Sessions said, and they will help customize and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy employed by every U.S. Attorney's office to combat the opioid epidemic.

"I believe that these changes will make law enforcement more effective—and make the American people safer," he said.

"DEA continually looks for ways to improve operations and interagency cooperation and more efficiently leverage resources," said Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson. "By creating a new division in the region, this restructuring places DEA in lockstep with our partners in the area to do just that. This change will produce more effective investigations on heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid trafficking, all of which have a significant impact on the region."

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