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Ivey awards grants to drug task forces to fight fentanyl

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $1.88 million to continue the fight against illegal drugs and drug-related crime in Alabama.

Gov. Ivey awarded $235,775 each to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the state’s seven regional drug task forces. Combined, the groups are known as the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force. The groups will use the funds to continue the battle against manufacturers, sellers and abusers of illegal drugs throughout the state. The task forces are also committed to curtailing the sale and use of illegally obtained pharmaceutical drugs.

“Illegal and illegally-obtained drugs have been the culprit in many ruined lives and senseless crimes,” Gov. Ivey said. “I commend these law enforcement officers who are putting their lives at risk in order to take the menace of drugs and those who profit from this evil off the streets of our communities.”

The task forces, headed by ALEA, were formed in 2018 and are made up of members from law enforcement agencies within their region. Each region comprises eight to 12 counties, although task force members have law enforcement powers in each jurisdiction.

In 2022, the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force worked with federal and state law enforcement officers and other partners to make 653 drug related arrests involving 1,121 drugrelated cases. The task force seized nearly 715,000 grams of marijuana, 183,994 grams of methamphetamine, 46,000 grams of cocaine/crack and 38,734 grams of heroin. The task force was able to seize more than $946,954 in currency.

The grant funds will be used to cover overtime and operational and equipment expenses. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants using funds from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“ADECA is pleased to play a role in this program that takes drugs off the streets and makes our communities safer,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.

ADECA administers an array of programs supporting law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation development.