WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers confirmed today that funding is being released to Operation UNITE to continue a comprehensive attack on drugs in southern and eastern Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Justice is awarding over $9.1 million to continue and expand efforts by Operation UNITE. The funding will be used to continue UNITE's three-pronged strategy of investigation, treatment, and education initiatives.
"We are turning the tide and seeing real results through Operation UNITE; getting kids hooked on fishing and not on drugs, putting drug pushers behind bars, rallying our communities to take back neighborhoods, and helping those who need treatment to get the treatment they deserve," stated Rogers. "Operation UNITE is now full throttle and this federal investment will build upon demonstrated success."
Operation UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, serves 29 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky. The region-wide program has three main tasks: creating regional drug task forces for interdiction, confiscation and undercover operations; organizing local citizens' groups and coordinating drug treatment programs; and working with educators to expand drug awareness and education programs.
To date, UNITE detectives have confiscated over $6.3 million in drugs, including more than 44,030 pills, 19 pounds of cocaine, and 11 pounds of methamphetamine. UNITE has also funded 28 drug courts, helped more than 300 people receive drug treatment services, and placed 34 drug counselors in schools throughout southern and eastern Kentucky.
Rogers has included $33.1 million in the federal budget over the last four years to create and operate the counter-drug initiative. For more information on UNITE, visit www.operationunite.org or call 866-678-6483.