New office space in Spearfish to approved with hopes of strengthening drug enforcement in Northern Hills

Photo caption: Representatives from various local county and city law enforcement agencies...
Photo caption: Representatives from various local county and city law enforcement agencies joined representatives from the state Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and Spearfish Mayor Dana Boke Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at Spearfish City Hall to celebrate the start of a project to build multi-agency office space that will strengthen the coordinated drug enforcement effort in the Northern Hills. Pictured from left are, front row: Faith Chief of Police Matt Schakow, Spearfish Mayor Dana Boke, Whitewood Police Officer Josh Bach; back row, DCI Director David Natvig, Lawrence County Sheriff Brian Dean, Spearfish Chief of Police Curt Jacobs, Deadwood Police Lt. Tony Bradley, DCI SSA Elbert Andress, Belle Fourche Police Officer Lance Patenode, Meade County Sgt. Caleb Deyo, Sturgis Police Detective Nate Borg, and Whitewood Chief of Police Paul Witcraft. Photo courtesy City of Spearfish(City of Spearfish)
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 2:03 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A portion of Spearfish City Hall is in the works of being converted into a multiagency office space for Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) drug agents and investigators from other law enforcement agencies.

Spearfish City Council approved the 10-year lease on Oct. 19, commenced on Nov. 1, to strengthen the coordinated drug enforcement effort in the Northern Hills.

The space will convert 1,050 square feet of the city hall basement.

“Once completed, the mission for this working group of drug investigators is to investigate crimes relating to the use, sale, distribution, and manufacture of illegal drugs, specifically methamphetamine,” said Steve Ardis, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Supervisory Special Agent. “The group will target their joint investigations toward the apprehension of drug violators, prioritizing their primary focus on large-scale drug traffickers or those who possess or distribute highly dangerous controlled substances such as methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl.”

The build will be funded using state drug seizure funds, in the amount of approximately $105,000, awarded to the City of Spearfish by the South Dakota Attorney General.

SSA Ardis explained that the coordinated drug enforcement effort is intended to maximize the group’s law enforcement resources and to facilitate the flow of drug-related intelligence information between the law enforcement agencies.

“The goal is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle drug trafficking organizations within the Western region of South Dakota (including Butte, Harding, Lawrence, Meade, and Perkins counties), specifically the Northern Hills,” he said. “The Northern Hills partners recognize a large majority of all crimes our agencies are involved in and investigate have a direct nexus to controlled substances use and abuse. Having recognized this connection, the Northern Hills partners have committed resources to help combat the drug problem that not only plagues our area, but our state.”

Police chiefs and representatives from Belle Fourche, Deadwood, Lead, Faith, Spearfish, Sturgis and Whitewood, as well as sheriffs and representatives from Butte, Lawrence, Meade and Perkins counties, attended a check presentation during the Spearfish City Council meeting Monday.

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