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District Attorney, Sheriff Ask Legislators for Funding to
Establish Dedicated Joint Drug Task Force in Lewis County

08/08/18 01:00pm
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    Lowville, NY- The Lewis County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's office are
    requesting Lewis County legislators to provide funding for two part-time
    investigators to establish a dedicated Joint Drug Task Force in the county.

    One of the positions would be through the Sheriff's office, while the other would
    be through the District Attorney's office.

    The request was first presented to the legislative Courts and Law committee
    during their June 14 meeting.

    Sheriff Michael Carpinelli and District Attorney Leanne Moser both provided
    committee members with an assessment of the current drug situation in the
    county. Both indicated that guns are becoming more prevalent with the drug
    population, with gang activity also increasing in neighboring counties. The Sheriff
    and DA insisted that a proactive approach needs to be taken to avoid further
    penetration of these elements into our communities.

    "What we've cracked open so far makes us worried," the Sheriff told the
    committee in June.

    The committee asked that a rough annual budget for the task force to be
    provided before moving forward with any decision. This was presented at the
    July 12 meeting of the committee.

    The task force would initially run on a budget of around $74,800 annually.

    Prior to yesterday's meeting of the full board, DA Moser made a presentation to
    lawmakers, requesting they approve funding the task force through the
    remainder of this year, in addition to including in next year's budget.

    No action was taken by the board at yesterday's meeting.

    In 2017, Lewis County had the highest per capita rate of opioid overdose deaths
    in New York State, according to preliminary data from the NYS Department of
    Health. In addition, Lewis County tied for second in New York State, with Oneida
    County, for the total number of meth-lab busts, trailing only Jefferson County.

    County Manager Ryan Piche noted during the June committee meeting the
    personnel additions during the past year of 4 correction officers, 3 dispatchers a
    FT investigator and PT Assistant District Attorney. There have not been any
    personnel additions to any other County department.

    Full video of the District Attorney's presentation yesterday is included below: