Division of Drug Enforcement
What We Are Doing
The Division of Drug Enforcement is in the process of providing more resources throughout the United States to work in conjunction with other drug enforcement entities such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Safe Trails Drug Task Force and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), by placing BIA Drug Agents in these task force locations. These Agents will provide technical support and operational assistance to areas of the country that have never had this assistance in past years. By working together with our Federal Law Enforcement partners, we will provide a force multiplier on the fight against methamphetamine and dangerous drugs in our Indian communities.
Additional drug training programs are offered at the Indian Police Academy (IPA). Trainings such as drug traffic interdiction, Spanish immersion, and basic & advance drug investigations courses are also being conducted. Many of these trainings are conducted at the agency level to make this training readily available to the tribes.
Along with training, analytical support will be offered, so we can effectively track drug cases to provide, gather and analyze information and trend data on drug related issues. Working in conjunction with various HIDTA Offices a newly created position will be established and stationed at their office to focus on the needs of Indian country.
Surveillance equipment has been purchased by the BIA and will be issued through an Equipment Loan Program for use by the tribes to conduct drug investigations, this will help in the collection of useful vital information from the field. Criteria for receiving the equipment will consist of having an established drug investigations program. Data collected will be more thorough than reporting numbers and will dive into the more detailed aspects of a seizure or arrest. This detailed approach will allow for the development of a drug threat assessment, and will be provided to the tribes on a semi-annual basis. Also, the numbers will be accessible to the tribes, so they can support their grant proposals should they seek funding opportunities.
The position of victim/witness coordinator was created to support the tribes in their drug investigation efforts. We found that in many instances, there is a missing gap between the Federal and tribal court system, as it pertains to the victims and witnesses of drug investigations. If a case is declined by the Federal court system, there is little or no assistance available. This newly created position will be able to provide assistance to tribal court cases that have victims or witnesses involved that need help. Linda Bearcrane-Couture was recently selected as the BIA, OJS Victim-Witness Coordinator. This position is located in the Drug Enforcement office located in District 5 in Billings, Montana. Mrs. Bearcrane-Couture previously worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office as their Victim-Witness Coordinator and will prove to be an asset to the program.
The Division of Drug Enforcement is funding several School Resource Officers (SRO) positions throughout Indian country. The SRO will provide anti-meth education to our youth through programs such as DARE and GREAT. The SRO will also be organizing anti-meth activities to bring awareness to the dangers of this drug to our students at an early age level, which will encourage our youth to make wise choices and remain drug free.