Special task force of criminal analysts aims to fight crime behind the scenes

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There’s a crime-fighting group that you probably didn't know existed, but it's making a big dent when it comes to getting drugs out of your neighborhood. It's the Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (CDTF), which utilizes special criminal analysts to assist law enforcement agencies around the state.

“That training that is provided to us by the military, training in teamwork, being held accountable, interpersonal tact, communication skills… those translate really well into the law enforcement arena,” says Adam, a Captain in the Ohio National Guard who isn’t revealing his last name for safety reasons.

In 2018, the CDTF helped disrupt drug trafficking organizations that took in thousands of pounds of illegal drugs:

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  • 12,238 lbs. of marijuana
  • 855 lbs. of cocaine
  • 401 lbs. of heroin
  • 62 lbs. of fentanyl
  • 396 lbs. of khat
  • 934 lbs. of methamphetamine
  • 7,202 prescription opiate pills


The task force also supported local law enforcement in seizing 1,095 firearms and more than $18 million in bulk currency.

“As that guardsman, as that national guard soldier, we live and work in these communities. So, we have a vested interest in where these communities are going, in the communities of tomorrow,” Adam says.

The National Guard Counterdrug Program has been around since 1989. In Ohio, there are approximately 50 soldiers and airmen who support 49 federal, state and local agencies within Ohio’s borders.

But the intel behind the scenes is making a difference to the boots on the ground and is also helping terrorism investigations in central Ohio.

In 2016, the task force played a critical role during the terrorist attack at Ohio State. A CDTF crime analyst was able to discover the link between the attacker and the Islamic State group, thereby helping local law enforcement determine a motive.