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USAO Hosts Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Training

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said today that her office will be hosting a multi-district training this week, focusing on the investigation and prosecution of transnational organized drug trafficking crime as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program.

“The principal mission of OCDETF is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply”, Shappert said. “We welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss new strategies and techniques to apprehend and prosecute the large-scale drug organizations that create misery and violence in our communities.”

This week’s training at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Thomas will include a presentation by the Director of OCDETF, Adam W. Cohen. Cohen, who has extensive experience prosecuting narcotics and violent crime, will provide an update on recent trends and best practices.

Federal prosecutors and agents from Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands will also discuss law enforcement issues unique to the Caribbean region. OCDETF was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack and reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States and to diminish the violence and other criminal activity associated with the drug trade.

Since OCDETF’s inception, tens of thousands of arrests have been made, and hundreds of tons of narcotics and billions in currency, real property, and conveyances have been seized.

“The OCDETF program has been described as the Swiss army knife of narcotics interdiction. OCDETF agents and prosecutors are uniquely trained and qualified to use modern technology, federal databases, human intelligence, and old-fashioned police work, in order to get the job done,” Shappert said. “We are proud to host this important training in the USVI.”

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