OMAHA — Several members of the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) have been honored by the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program for their work to take dangerous drugs off of Nebraska streets and arrest the people responsible for distributing them.
Trooper Sam Mortensen was presented with the Midwest region interdiction award of excellence. Mortensen had multiple criminal interdiction cases in 2018, including one that resulted in the seizure of 118 pounds of fentanyl during a traffic stop last April near Kearney. It was believed to be the largest seizure of fentanyl in U.S. history until last month, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than 250 pounds of fentanyl from a semi-trailer in Arizona.
“Fentanyl is the scourge of today,” said Jeff Stamm, Executive Director of Midwest HIDTA, speaking on Mortensen’s efforts in 2018. “The things you do out there on the roads can positively impact so many other people down the road.”
Investigators with the NSP Commercial Interdiction Unit (CIU) based in Omaha, were also honored for their efforts in the Omaha metro area. In 2018, CIU made more than 100 drug-related arrests and seized hundreds of pounds of drugs including fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and THC products.
“The work that this unit has done in the past year deserves recognition,” said Stamm. “To be able to attack all facets of the drug trade is not only important for reducing drug availability, but also for taking poison off the streets not just here in Nebraska but across the country.”
The Midwest region outstanding interdiction effort award was presented to the unit, which is comprised of investigators from several agencies in the Omaha metro area.
“These awards are a great reminder to our troopers and investigators that the work they do on a daily basis has an incredible impact on the communities we serve,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Thank you to Midwest HIDTA for honoring NSP in this way, and for the continued support and teamwork of our allied agencies in working to take drugs off the street and keep Nebraska safe.”