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Federal 'Operation Overdrive' has mapped violent drug-related crime in Buffalo

Police lights on top of a patrol car

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has begun a new initiative aimed at combating the rising rates of drug-related violent crime and overdose deaths plaguing American communities.

Last fall, DEA initiated a data-driven approach using national crime statistics and CDC data to identify hot spots of drug-related violence and overdose deaths across the country. This was to devote its law enforcement resources to where they will have the most impact: the communities where criminal drug networks are causing the most harm.

DEA, working in partnership with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, has now mapped the threats and initiated enforcement operations in Buffalo and 33 other cities across 23 states for Operation Overdrive.

The DEA said 275 Americans die of drug overdoses daily and more than 8,700 firearms connected to investigations of drug trafficking organizations were seized last year.