You knock on that door to serve a warrant and you don't know what's on the other side. It's a risk agents and officers take regularly.
Recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Lawrence County Officials gave Channel 11 a look at how they prepare for major cases—including international drug rings operating in New Castle.
The training is intense. Preparing for every worst-case scenario in a business that's anything but safe.
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"It's made us able or given us the opportunity to go after targets that we financially wouldn't be able to go after," said Lawrence County District Attorney, Josh Lamancusa.
The officers and agents make up the Lawrence County Drug Task Force, a group that includes the DEA, New Castle Police, Pennsylvania State Police and several other agencies that focus on high level targets.
They gave Channel 11 a firsthand look at their training starting at the shooting range.
Lamancusa said it's essential given the scope of some of the operations. That includes one of the largest cocaine rings in Western Pennsylvania that ended with 17 federal indictments.
"The second part of the investigation that wrapped up in New Castle had connections to Jamaica, California, and Miami," said Lamancusa. "It was only with the partnerships with the DEA that we were able to track these individuals and ultimately make arrests."
Preparing to go after the biggest drug dealers even in the smallest communities.
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