Sen. McConnell stops by Owensboro to discuss a federal anti-drug program

Sen. McConnell stops by Owensboro to discuss a federal anti-drug program
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 9:32 AM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Senator Mitch McConnell made a stop in Owensboro Tuesday morning.

He discussed the county’s recent inclusion into the Appalachia High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.

The program aims to decrease drug trafficking in the area.

Senator McConnell was joined by community leaders, along with federal, state and law enforcement officials for the press conference.

We’re told if it wasn’t for Senator Mitch McConnel pushing for the county to become a HIDTA destination, then they may not have gotten it.

The program is extremely competitive. Officials say out of the 25 counties that applied, only six were named a destination.

“If you look at it from a population point of view, about half the state from a population point of view is covered by some HIDTA designation,” said Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Local leaders say their relationship with Senator Mitch Mcconnell helped them secure a spot in the program.

“I know that Sen. McConnell has a genuine concern for the issue at hand, and in communicating that, he recognized the lead, and it all fell into place,” explained Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain.

On top of that, officials say the county’s and city’s entities were willing to work together to combat drug trafficking.

Owensboro Police say this past Sunday, they received a notification about another fatal overdose. They say this is an ongoing issue that’s ripping the community apart.

“These overdoses happen. I can’t help but think, ‘that’s another mother, another father that’s lost a child. That’s another son or daughter that’s lost a parent,” shared Major JD Winkler with OPD.

Officials say the drugs that are killing residents here are coming south of the border by drug cartels and organizations.

However, officials have been making lee-way busting drug trafficking operations locally.

“You’ve got silos that have been torn down,” said Russell Coleman, former United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Officials say they are meeting next Wednesday to discuss the program more in-depth. They’ll determine how much money they have to fund the program and a timeline for when this community will start to see change.

You can watch the full news conference below.

Sen. McConnell stops by Owensboro to discuss a federal anti-drug program

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