OMAHA – In a press conference Thursday at the US Attorney’s Office in Omaha, D.E.A. Acting Administrator Robert Patterson made the announcement that a new division will open in July.
The agency designated Omaha as the location 23rd division office in the United States.
Patterson says the move was prompted in part by the nation’s growing opioid crisis. In April, authorities seized a record 118 pounds of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl during a traffic stop.
“The public has to understand that illicit opioids, meaning prescription pills have dire consequences moving forward. As the governor pointed out, fortunately for this state you don’t have the problems that we see in so many others, but I will also tell you that even if you don’t believe that it’s not happening in your community, it still does.”
The Omaha division will be led by Matthew Barden, who previously served as the Associate Special Agent in Charge of the St. Louis Division.
Barden spoke about the impact of the new office.
“The purpose of the creation of the Omaha division is to provide support and cover to the citizens of this new region. ”
Since October of last year about 300-pounds of fentanyl came from Nebraska or though the state.
This new project should help to reduce those numbers.