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Tohono O'odham task force seize over 43,000 fentanyl pills from cartel

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Posted at 12:10 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 15:15:02-04

SELLS, Ariz. — The Tohono O’odham Nation Police and NATIVE High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force have seized over 43,000 fentanyl pills from the cartel over the past month.

Per a press release from the Tohono O’odham Nation, the pills and other drugs were recovered during multiple undercover sting operations and three men, none of which were native, were arrested.

“Successful interdictions such as this one are the result of careful planning and precise execution by dedicated tribal, federal and state officers," said Rodney Irby, Assistant Tohono O’odham Police Chief and designated head of NATIVE HIDTA . "NATIVE HIDTA performed exactly as it was designed to in this case, with multiple jurisdictions working together as a single unit to protect the public.”

The sting operations were planned by the NATIVE HIDTA Task Force, which is one of 250 HIDTA Task Forces in the U.S.

Noteably, the NATIVE HIDTA Task Force on the Nation is the only tribally led task force in the country.

Edward D. Manuel, Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation said:

“On behalf of the Tohono O’odham Nation I want to thank our public safety officials. They put their lives on the line every day in protecting our people and the American public and they deserve our appreciation for their efforts.”

Generally, HIDTA Task Forces are joint task forces of federal, local, state, and tribal law enforcement made for uncovering major trafficking rings, cartels, money laundering, and organized crime.