SAN DIEGO — San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore announced receipt of a $5 million federal grant to combat drug-related criminal activity along the international border. San Diego County shares a 60-mile border with Mexico, which begins at the Pacific Ocean and traverses rugged terrain to the Imperial County line.
The grant identified two key project goals:
— Identify, apprehend, and/or deter those engaged in the smuggling of drugs, weapons, money and human trafficking.
— Reduce drug-related crime and violence along the international border.
A 15-member team will be assembled to focus on drug smuggling and border-related crime. In collaboration with regional, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department will combat drug smuggling and related violence by providing highly visible, uniformed patrol along the border and in border communities. The team will also support ongoing efforts of high intensity drug trafficking areas, or HIDTA, and the Regional Narcotics Task force. Two detectives will be assigned to HIDTA and two detectives, along with an analyst, will be assigned to develop information on these criminal endeavors.
Additionally, a forensic evidence technician will be added to develop evidence linking firearms to border-related violent crimes and the addition of a Deputy District Attorney will facilitate timely and vertical prosecution of those apprehended.
The Law Enforcement Coordination Center, the Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center and the Border Intelligence Center will all be utilized to support intelligence-driven enforcement operations.
“These funds are crucial to effectively combat border-related crime which is a constant in this region,” Gore said. “We will enhance the ability to work with our local, state and federal partners to provide better border security and reduce crime along the southwest border.”