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Detectives assigned to the Narcotics Unit are responsible for both long and short term investigations into narcotics trafficking and organizations. One of the major concerns of the Sheriff's Department has been the steady increase of drug related crimes. As a result of these issues, the Narcotics Unit has personnel assigned to combat the import and export, purchase, sales and use of illicit narcotic substances. The unit has four highly trained narcotic detector canine (K9) teams
available for use by the department as well as other agencies to aid in the locating of illicit narcotics.
The Narcotic Unit includes a number of detectives assigned to specialty task forces, which are designed to provide both operational and investigative support to overall enforcement efforts. Some of these task forces are the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force, Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force, and Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). The vast majority of the assets seized and placed into the Law Enforcement Trust Fund are attributable to the hard work from these units. These assets help the Sheriff's Department by deferring taxpayer costs.
The Narcotic Unit's mission is to identify, arrest, and eliminate drug organizations and individuals who control and participate in drug operations. The unit is also responsible for the timely investigation of citizen complaints regarding narcotics violations.
Additionally, the Sheriff's Department works closely with the Cleveland Police Department as well as other law enforcement agencies throughout the county. Officers from the Sheriff's Department’s Narcotics Unit share investigative work with these agencies to ensure that the combined efforts of all agencies are more successful in narcotic enforcement efforts.
Responsibilities of the Narcotics Unit:
- Investigating and arresting drug dealers and buyers who engage in illegal drug transactions
- Investigating and interdicting the importation and exportation of illegal drugs into and out of Cuyahoga County
- Preparing narcotic related civil and criminal forfeiture cases involving illegal profits derived from drug transactions
- Maintaining chain of evidence, confiscating and destroying narcotics
- Assisting prosecuting agencies in preparing successful narcotics cases for court
- Responding to and investigating Heroin overdoses