Tester, Hoeven Team Up on Bipartisan ANTI Drugs Act to Boost Critical Resources for Law Enforcement

Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act would help combat drug trafficking, keep families and communities safe

U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced today they are teaming up to introduce a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting critical resources to help law enforcement combat drug trafficking and increase public safety.

The Senators’ Assisting Narcotics and Trafficking Officers in Interdicting (ANTI) Drugs Act would increase resources for three programs – High Intensity Drug Task Forces (HIDTA), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), and Operation Stonegarden – that support law enforcement efforts to combat the drug epidemic and boost border security. This legislation would provide additional resources and predictability to law enforcement officers and agencies that use this funding to keep communities safe.

“Montana’s brave law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us secure, which is why it’s critical we make sure they have the resources they need to get their challenging jobs done safely and effectively,” Tester said. “This bipartisan bill will give law enforcement better tools to crack down on the flow of dangerous drugs coming into our state, defend our borders, and help keep Montana families and communities safe.”

“Our bipartisan legislation provides important tools and resources to assist law enforcement in their efforts to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities,” said Hoeven. “The ANTI Drugs Act reauthorizes three critical grant programs, including Operation Stone Garden, which is used by border state law enforcement agencies to help stop illegal drugs coming across the border.”

“Law enforcement officers across Montana and the West use Operation Stonegarden, COPS, and HIDTA resources to improve public safety, reduce drug crimes, and protect the our borders,” said Leo Dutton, Sheriff of Lewis and Clark County, board member of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and President of the Western States Sheriffs’ Association. “The ANTI Drugs Act will provide critical support to our men and women in uniform, and help ensure that police departments have the resources they need to continue their serve their communities.”

“Police departments across Montana work hand-in-hand with HIDTA taskforces and utilize Operations Stonegarden and COPS funding to support their mission of keeping our communities safe,” said Wynn Meehan, Sheriff of Broadwater County and President of the Montana Sheriff and Peace Officers Association. “These programs are critical tools that help Montana law enforcement officers keep drugs off our streets and secure the northern border. MSPOA thanks Senators Tester for supporting these important programs and working to make sure our officers and departments have the resources they need to keep Montana safe.”

“The HIDTA taskforces, Operation Stonegarden, and COPS play a critical role in supporting law enforcement officers in their fight against drug trafficking and efforts to keep our communities safe,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We must support our brave Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement officers across the country and give them the tools and resources they need to do their job. We look forward to continuing to work with Senators Tester and Hoeven to increase funding for these important law enforcement programs.”

The ANTI Drugs Act would provide enhanced support for three critical law enforcement programs:

High Intensity Drug Task Forces (HIDTA) – $300 million

  • HIDTA grants fund regional task forces made up of members from local, state, Tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies that combat the drug epidemic in hard-hit communities. Montana is home to five regional HIDTA task forces that combat the drug epidemic in hard-hit communities— currently operating in Cascade, Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Missoula and Yellowstone Counties. North Dakota is part of the Midwest HIDTA, with the following counties designated as HIDTA counties—Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, Morton, Richland, Walsh, Ward, and Williams.

Operation Stonegarden – $110 million

  • Operation Stonegarden provides funding to state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance coordination with Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol to defend America’s borders.

Community Oriented Policing (COPS) – $400 million

  • The COPS program awards grants to state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce crime and advance public safety through community policing. The program also supports state law enforcement agencies in combatting the manufacturing and trafficking of meth and opioids.

Text of Tester and Hoeven’s ANTI Drugs Act is available HERE.