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City of Charleston partners with DEA to combat drug-related crimes in Lowcountry

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:36 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:09 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston has partnered with federal law enforcement to help crack down on drug-related crimes throughout the Lowcountry.

Council members voted in favor of the agreement between the city, Charleston Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration during a Tuesday night meeting.

“These officers will work with federal drug enforcement officers to investigate crimes dealing with drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute – a higher level of drug enforcement than they may receive just being involved at a local, state level,” Charleston Council Member Peter Shahid, Jr. said.

Shahid, who is also on the city’s committee on public safety, said the city will be responsible for the officer’s equipment, vehicles and pay, but the officer on the task force will be paid their normal salary.

“It’s really a partnership,” he said. “It’s this collaborative effort to bring in different law enforcement agencies to work together, so they’re not working against one another. They’re pooling their resources.”

Shahid added that the city will measure if the partnership is working as they receive regular reports from the chief.

Some of the measurements council members will look at include the number of drugs taken off the street and how many people were arrested due to the partnership.

“We’re understanding from the global standpoint of what that particular crime cartel may be going on, and we’re putting an end to that,” Shahid said. “It may not necessarily happen exactly within the city limits, but it’s going to impact our citizens.”

The agreement between the city, police and the DEA will run through September 2022.

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