Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force
Agency overview
Employees2,464 total, including 1195 Special Agents and 543 Attorneys (Authorized FY2023)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionUnited States of America

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) is a federal drug enforcement program in the United States, overseen by the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the major drug trafficking operations and tackle related crimes, such as money laundering, tax and weapon violations, and violent crime, and prosecute those primarily responsible for the nation's drug supply.[1]


President Reagan's Remarks Against Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime on October 14, 1982

In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan designated his Vice President George H. W. Bush to lead a cross-agency drug interdiction team called the South Florida Task Force. Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Customs Service, in tandem with the United States Coast Guard were brought in to deal with the surge of drug smuggling through the Miami metropolitan area. According to an agency history by Rudy Giuliani, while the South Florida Task Force was a success, drug smuggling had moved to new ports as evidenced by larger seizures elsewhere.[2]

In late 1982, to mount a comprehensive attack and reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States and diminish the violence and other criminal activity associated with the drug trade.[3] President Reagan announced the formation of the OCDETF Program on October 14, 1982.[4][5]

These task forces, under the direction of the Attorney General, will work closely with State and local law enforcement officials. Following the south Florida example, they'll utilize the resources of the Federal Government, including the FBI, the DEA, the IRS, the ATF, Immigration and Naturalization Service, United States Marshals Services, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Coast Guard. In addition, in some regions Department of Defense tracking and pursuit capability will be made available.

I believe that these task forces will allow us to mount an intensive and coordinated campaign against international and domestic drug trafficking and other organized criminal enterprises.

— Ronald Reagan, Remarks Announcing Federal Initiatives Against Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement appeared in congressional appropriation legislation as a part of the United States Department of Justice budget with the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 1983, introduced in December 1982.[6]

Role and responsibilities[edit]

The OCDETF is the centerpiece of the Attorney General's drug supply reduction strategy. It is funded through the annual Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement (ICDE) appropriation of the Department of Justice. It describes its mission is "to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States and diminish the associated violence and other transnational organized criminal activities that present the greatest threat to public safety as well as economic and national security."[7]


The OCDETF consists of an Executive Office, which coordinates the drug enforcement efforts of multiple agencies from several cabinet departments including:

Map of OCDETF Strike Force locations

Enforcement efforts are conducted through the DOJ Criminal Division; the 94 United States Attorneys Offices; and other Federal, State, local, tribal, and international law enforcement agencies.

Geographically, the OCDETF is organized into nine regions, each with its own Advisory Council and Coordination Group. These groups set policies and priorities for their regions and conduct final review of cases proposed for OCDETF designation. At the district level, District Coordination Groups review cases proposed for OCDETF designation, ensure appropriate resource allocation, and monitor local case progress.[8]

Targeting through CPOT and RPOT[edit]

The OCDETF coordinates the annual formulation of the Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) List, a multi-agency target list of "command and control" elements of the most prolific international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations nationally. The OCDETF also requires its participants to identify major Regional Priority Organization Targets (RPOT) as part of an annual Regional Strategic Plan process.[9]

Fusion Center and Intelligence and Operations Center[edit]

Established by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program in 2004, the OCDETF Fusion Center (OFC) is a multi-agency intelligence center designed to provide intelligence information to investigations and prosecutions focused on disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.[10]

In May 2009, the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council established the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) to marshal the resources and information of federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to collectively combat the threats posed by international criminal organizations. In recognition of the demonstrated interrelationship between criminal organizations that engage in illicit drug trafficking and those that engage in international organized crime involving a broader range of criminal activity, the IOC-2 works in close partnership with the OFC and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division (a member of the United States Intelligence Community). The IOC-2 is co-located with the OFC and shares access to the OFC’s database. Its products are indistinguishable from OFC products except that they focus on targets under investigation for a broader variety of criminal activity than just illicit drug trafficking.[10]


From the formation of the organization to 2006, OCDETF operations have led to more than 44,000 drug-related convictions and the seizure of over $3.0 billion in cash and property assets.[11]

The United States Department of Justice Criminal Division's s Office of Enforcement Operations reviews DOJ components' Title III wiretap applications. In the three year span of calendar years 2016, 2017, and 2018 there were 6,964 OCDETF-related Title III applications.[12]


Each of the ninety-three federal judicial districts is placed into one of nine OCDETF regions based on geographic proximity. Within each region, a "core city" was designated.[13]

Task Force Region Core City
New England Boston
New York/New Jersey New York City
Mid-Atlantic Baltimore
Great Lakes Chicago
Southeast Atlanta
West Central St. Louis
Florida/Caribbean Miami
Southwest Houston
Pacific San Francisco

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

Official website

Government Accountablity Office reports[edit]


  1. ^ "About OCDETF". USDOJ. Retrieved 2006-10-25.
  2. ^ Giuliani, Rudolph W. (1985). "Organizing Law Enforcement as Well as Organized Crime". Public Administration Review. 45: 712–717. doi:10.2307/3135025. ISSN 0033-3352. JSTOR 3135025.
  3. ^ "Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF)". Drug Enforcement Administration. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  4. ^ "Drug Investigations: Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program: A Coordinating Mechanism". Government Accountability Office. 1986-07-17. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  5. ^ Reagan, Ronald (1982-10-14). "Remarks Announcing Federal Initiatives Against Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime". Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Retrieved 2022-10-28.
  6. ^ "Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 1983" Pub.L. 97–377, H.J.Res. 631, 96 Stat. 1830
  7. ^ "FY 2021 Budget and Performance Summary". Archived from the original on 2020-02-11. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  8. ^ "FY 2023 Congressional Submission Interagency Crime and Drug Enforcement". U.S. Department of Justice. 2022-04-13. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  9. ^ "Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program". 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  10. ^ a b "Review of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces Fusion Center" (PDF). United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. March 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  11. ^ "Executive Office for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force". U.S. Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2006-10-25.
  12. ^ "Reviews of the Annual Accounting of Drug Control Funds and Related Performance Fiscal Year 2018 | U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General". Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  13. ^ "Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Region". U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 2017-03-08.