Local anti-drug task force receives federal recognition

An anti-narcotics task force in Alamance County has turned the heads of federal authorities for its role in a joint investigation that has reportedly put the squeeze on money-laundering outfits in central North Carolina.

Earlier this month, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy applauded the Alamance Narcotics Enforcement Team, or ANET, for its contribution to this multi-agency “Triad Initiative,” which took aim at businesses in this part of the state that were allegedly laundering money for international drug traffickers.

The various partners in this initiative ultimately received an annual “award for excellence” that the federal government regularly metes out for exemplary work within its so-called “high intensity drug trafficking areas.”

This particular award, which was presented in a special White House ceremony on April 5, honored the initiative’s participants for efforts over several years that have reportedly led to 87 arrests and asset seizures valued at about $5.7 million. Federal authorities also credit this multi-jurisdictional venture with “the dismantling of multiple Mexican drug trafficking organizations” that had been active in the Middle District of North Carolina.

In its own announcement about this award, Burlington’s police department called particular attention to ANET’s contributions to the initiative, which reportedly included “the deployment of vital investigative tools and intelligence reports.” According to the police department, this information helped the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration pursue more than two dozen leads both inside and outside the United States.

“These results underscore the effectiveness of ANET’s strategic approach,” Lieutenant Shelly Katkowski went on to declare in a news release on Monday. “This award serves as a testament to the dedication and professionalism exhibited by every member of the ANET team, whose efforts have made our communities safer and more resilient.”