HOLBROOK, Ariz - Navajo County officials have presented Senator Jon Kyl with a personalized Navajo pot crafted by Navajo artists Herb and Juanita Wilson to thank the senator for his strong support of the county's successful petition to be designated a federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).
The large pot, featuring the official seal of the United States Senate in full color, was presented to Kyl by Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon, Sheriff K. C. Clark and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors David Tenney. The Wilsons also attended the presentation to personally deliver the pot to Kyl.
"Herb and Juanita do unique work, and we felt an example of their artistry was an appropriate way to thank Senator Kyl for his efforts on our behalf," Carlyon said. The County Attorney said Kyl worked closely with Navajo County officials during the highly competitive HIDTA application process and wrote a key letter of support to the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy that was included with the county's petition.
"There is no question that the support of leaders like Senator Kyl was instrumental in Navajo County becoming the first county in the nation to receive the HIDTA designation in more than a decade," said Board Chairman Tenney. The county was awarded HIDTA status last October, opening the door to new federal funding and resources to assist federal, state, tribal, county and municipal law enforcement agencies in their battle against drug trafficking.
During the presentation, Carlyon and Sheriff Clark highlighted some of the results achieved by the multi-agency Navajo County Major Crimes Apprehension Team (MCAT) in the ten months since the county was designated a HIDTA:
Drug seizures have included 23.3 pounds of heroin, 50.7 pounds of cocaine, 33.5 pounds of methamphetamine and 241.4 pounds of marijuana.
Some $564,125 in cash and $191,819 in other assets used in drug trafficking have been seized and will be used to assist the MCAT agencies in their fight against illegal drugs.
MCAT has conducted 36 highway enforcement details focused on apprehending drug traffickers using major highways to transport illegal drugs into Navajo County and throughout the United States.
Clark said drug trafficking on and through tribal lands was emphasized in the county's HIDTA petition and that HIDTA funds have already enabled MCAT to assist tribal law enforcement agencies in executing search warrants, conducting drug searches at schools using MCAT's drug-detection canines, providing advanced training to tribal officers, and educating students, parents and tribal officials about the harmful effects of illegal drugs within their communities.
Carlyon added that HIDTA funds have allowed his office to employ an additional criminal analyst to assist all law enforcement agencies in the county in identifying drug-trafficking trends and investigating major cases. He said the analyst's efforts have already borne fruit beyond the borders of Navajo County, as some of the cases have involved drug trafficking connections in cities throughout the U.S.