A 2006 report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicates that Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia led the state in the number of violent crimes, including drug -related crimes. In 2006, Huntington had 286 drug and narcotic violations. In 2010, West Virginia led the nation in the highest number of prescriptions written per person, at 18.4 (the average was 11.6), as well as the highest rate of drug overdose in the nation. This indicates that the state also has a serious prescription drug abuse problem.
How to Become a DEA Agent in Huntington
Becoming a DEA agent in Huntington, West Virginia entails working for the DEA’s Washington, D.C. Division. Before one can hold a DEA job in Huntington, however, one must possess certain qualifications. Holding one of the following is necessary to become a DEA agent in Huntington by meeting requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree with a 2.95 GPA or higher
- A master’s degree
- An advanced law degree
- Specialized experience in drug investigations
- Specialized experience in areas including piloting, maritime, military, technical or foreign language AND a bachelor’s degree
Drug Investigations in Huntington
In addition to DEA agents in Huntington, specialized law enforcement officials conduct drug investigations. The Huntington Police Department Drug Unit is made up of five police officers who work to dismantle drug trafficking rings in the city. According to the HPD Drug Unit, much of Huntington’s heroin (and other drugs) enter the city from Detroit, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia. The HPD Drug Unit has been responsible for many drug investigations and seizures. In 2007, for example, the HPD Drug Unit seized 4744.2 grams of marijuana, four vehicles, 1115 grams of crack cocaine, $31,825 in cash, 40 firearms and 13 grams of heroin.
One of the HPD Drug Unit’s major successes was dismantling the Donald Wilson Drug Trafficking Organization in 2007. This group trafficked cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in the Huntington area for a decade. Of course, the HPD Drug Unit does not work alone in its drug investigations. It has partnered with the DEA, FBI, US Marshals, West Virginia State Police, county Sheriff’s Departments, other town police departments, and university police departments in investigations of drug trafficking and organizations.
The HPD has instituted a Drug and Crime Tip Line, for persons to make anonymous tips about drugs and crime in the city. It is (304) 696-4444.
Prescription Drug Abuse in Huntington
As of 2011, West Virginia had the highest overdose death rate per capita of any state in the country. Prescription drugs contribute to the number one crime in the southern part of West Virginia, which includes the city of Huntington. DEA Diversion Agents work in the Huntington area to train local law enforcement about prescription drug abuse and misuse. Other community and judicial groups are working throughout the southern district of West Virginia and in the 11 counties that make up the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) to stop the vicious cycle of prescription drug abuse in the Huntington area.