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N.M. Delegation Welcomes Over $9.5 million for Law Enforcement to Help Address the Overdose Epidemic in New Mexico, Crack Down on Illicit Drug Trafficking

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) are welcoming $9,502,108 from the White House’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program to provide New Mexico’s law enforcement agencies new tools to keep communities safe from illicit fentanyl and reduce violent crime associated with drug trafficking.

The HIDTA Program supports federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. HIDTAs assess the drug threats in their communities and develop strategies to advance public health and public safety.

“Too many New Mexicans know the heartache of losing a loved one to the opioid epidemic — it’s why I’m fighting hard to ensure New Mexico’s law enforcement has the tools they need to keep our communities safe from fentanyl and other deadly drugs,” said Heinrich. “This $9.5 million will help our state crack down on drug trafficking and save lives.”   

“I am proud to announce over $9.5 million in investment for New Mexico to combat the overdose epidemic and intensify efforts against drug trafficking,” said Luján. “This crucial funding underscores the importance of fighting drug trafficking and its devastating impact on our communities. With these resources, New Mexico is better equipped to implement comprehensive strategies that will save lives.”

“As overdoses and substance use cases continue to grow across our country, we cannot turn a blind eye. This over $9.5 million from the Biden Administration for New Mexico’s work with the HIDTA Program will support our local law enforcement as they fight the scourge of illicit drugs and prevent more overdoses in our state,” said Leger Fernández. “I helped secure this funding because I lost two of my brothers to addiction and I want to make sure no other family ever feels the same pain that my family and I experienced.”

"This $9.5 million in funding support from the Biden Administration is a big part of our state's fight against the influx of deadly, illicit drugs that is happening currently," said Stansbury. "These multi-state operations from cartels and criminal organizations must end. The resources and funds sent to these High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas – HIDTAs – are one way to stop these illegal operations from the start and save lives. The Biden Administration is strengthening New Mexico's fight against drug trafficking."

"HIDTA is crucial for supporting our local law enforcement and keeping our communities safe. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that we've secured over $9.5 million for New Mexico for the HIDTA Program. This funding will help build safer neighborhoods and a stronger, more coordinated response to combat drug trafficking," said Vasquez, co-lead of the bipartisan HIDTA Reauthorization Act. "As a border representative, I've seen how effective the HIDTA program is for cracking down on smuggling. I'm proud to champion the reauthorization of HIDTA and ensure that our communities receive the federal support they need to stay safe.” 

For more information on this grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, click here


Senator Heinrich is leading comprehensive efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic and protect New Mexico communities from fentanyl.

Heinrich, a cosponsor of the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, helped to pass this legislation into law on April 23, 2024, as part of the National Security Supplemental package. This new law will help combat the fentanyl crisis in New Mexico by authorizing the federal government to engage in new sanctions and anti-money laundering activities to interdict illicit fentanyl before it ever reaches our borders.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Heinrich has gone to great lengths to provide local law enforcement with federal resources to combat the fentanyl crisis, through the appropriations process and congressionally directed spending requests.

In the FY24 Appropriations Bills, Heinrich secured:

  • More than $1 million to help law enforcement agencies throughout New Mexico purchase equipment to safely identify fentanyl and other illicit substances.
  • New language directing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to further remove barriers to access for opioid use disorder medications—like buprenorphine. 
  • That language clarifies the difference between suspicious orders of opioids and orders of buprenorphine in the DEA’s Report System— making it easier for local medical and mental health providers to prescribe effective treatment for more New Mexicans struggling with opioid addiction.
  • Over $400 million to improve the detection and seizure of fentanyl and other narcotics. This includes $75.5 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment for in-bound and out-bound operations at ports of entry, $10 million for task forces dedicated to countering fentanyl, and $6 million for maritime operations to counter fentanyl.
  • $125 million to support efforts to address the global flow of synthetic drugs, like fentanyl, and their precursor materials by increasing diplomatic engagement, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building, and governance capacity support. 
  • $1.4 billion to strengthen the U.S. State Department’s mission to break up transnational organized crime by reducing the production and trafficking of illicit fentanyl and other drugs.

Heinrich is also a cosponsor of the Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act, legislation that would enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire more Officers and Border Patrol Agents to increase capacity to stop illicit smuggling over the border.

Additionally, Heinrich joined over 100 Democratic Senate and House members to reintroduce the bicameral Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, to fight the substance use disorder crisis. The CARE Act would provide state and local governments with $125 billion in federal funding over ten years, including nearly $1 billion per year directly to Tribal governments and organizations.

In May 2023, Heinrich led a bipartisan group of senators to call on the DEA to remove barriers to buprenorphine, a lifesaving drug used to treat opioid use disorder. The push comes as prescribers and patients in New Mexico and across the country continue to report difficulty filling buprenorphine prescriptions, despite recent passage of the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which increased the number of medical professionals authorized to prescribe buprenorphine.

For more information on Heinrich’s actions to tackle the fentanyl crisis in New Mexico, click here