Yuma County Narcotics Task Force
The Yuma County Narcotics Task Force (YCNTF) is a multi-agency task force initiative employing a collaborative enforcement and prosecutorial strategy to reduce and disrupt trafficking, sales and distribution of illegal narcotics within Yuma County. This mission is implemented by investigating, targeting and arresting individuals that are engaged in drug trafficking and sales including gang members and violent crimes often associated with narcotics. The mission is also put into practice by the collection, distribution and sharing of information developed in investigations with other local and regional law enforcement agencies engaged in the disruption of drug trafficking.
About the YCNTF
The basic area of responsibility for the Yuma County Narcotics Task Force is Yuma County. With an area of 5,570 square miles, containing 4 incorporated cities, 1 international port of entry, 1 commercial port of entry, 1 international airport, and 120 miles of United States/Mexico border, Yuma County presents unique challenges for law enforcement.
Local drug trafficking is largely non-competitive and consists of street to mid-level dealers. Local traffickers frequently travel between jurisdictions to avoid detection and prosecution which leads to a fragmented enforcement effort. Street level drug activity results in an increased number of violence, theft, burglary and auto theft calls for all jurisdictions in Yuma County resulting in a high level of social disruption.
Smugglers representing major drug trafficking organizations use both the vast areas of open desert and the Port of Entry for illegal importation of drugs and undocumented aliens. Utilizing the same methods, the area is also attractive to those wanting to smuggle persons or instruments targeting the United States. Enforcement operations such as Operation Gatekeeper to the west and similar operations east of Yuma County have increased smuggling operations in Yuma County resulting in increased demands on local agency resources.
History of the YCNTF
The Yuma County Narcotics Task Force is a continuing Apprehension Task Force originally established in 1987 as the Southwest Border Alliance. The lead agency is the Yuma County Sheriff's Office. In addition, the Army National Guard, San Luis Police Department, Somerton Police Department, U.S Border Patrol, U.S Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and the Yuma County Attorneys Office all have full-time assigned personnel.
The Yuma County Narcotics Task Force addresses the specific goals and needs for the investigation of narcotics violations in southwest Arizona. The Task Force utilizes a multi-faceted approach to address the narcotics problem within local municipalities, Yuma County, the State of Arizona as well as the nation. The multi-faceted consists of:
- The professional investigation, apprehension and conviction of individuals involved in the use, distribution, or production of street to mid-level amounts of narcotics.
- Enlisting citizens assistance through education of the public and other law enforcement in issues relating to the use, distribution, or production of narcotics and related crime problems such as burglaries, thefts, assaults, violent behaviors.
- The gathering of intelligence and sharing of information with other law enforcement agencies on narcotics violations extending beyond Yuma County.
- Assisting State or Federal agencies with the identification, disruption or dismantlement of major drug trafficking organizations which are multi-state or international in nature.
Task Force Agency Members
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