Gangs, Guns & Narcotics Task Force
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
On January 1, 2020 the Gloucester County Prosecutors Office (GCPO) was incorporated into the Liberty Mind Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The new GCPO HIDTA Task Force focuses its efforts on disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking and plays a critical role in reducing over dose deaths in Gloucester County.
History & Mission of the Gangs, Guns & Narcotics Task Force
In 1972, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office formed a County-wide Narcotics Investigation Unit. At the time it was one of the few specialized narcotics units within the state.
During this time, attacking street-level distribution along with mid-level operations within the County's twenty-four municipalities were the unit's primary areas of responsibility. Several years later, the Narcotics Unit was able to enhance its ability with electronic surveillance and progressed to targeting upper-level operations. The primary focus was the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine.
Beginning with the crack cocaine epidemic of the mid 1980's, the Narcotics Unit found itself again having to diversify its mission and broaden the scope of its operations to cover all levels of drug law violations from the street-level to middle and upper levels.
1987 Statewide Narcotics Action Plan
In 1987, with the inception of the Attorney General's Statewide Narcotics Action Plan, an increased emphasis was placed on targeting street level drug dealers who were terrorizing the neighborhoods in which they were operating.
The Action Plan supplied the necessary guidelines, funding and resources to expand demand and supply reduction operations. These resources which are funded through the Edward R. Byrne Memorial Multi-Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force Grant have enabled the Narcotics Strike Force, as the unit was now called, to expand undercover street-level investigations, tactical operations and neighborhood sweeps. Further, this concept enabled the Narcotics Strike Force to better assist municipal police departments, state and federal drug enforcement agencies in manpower, specialized training, equipment and financial assistance.
Edward R. Byrne was a 22 year old New York City police officer who was murdered in 1988 while protecting a witness in a drug case. Additional information on Edward R. Byrne can be found on the Officer Down Memorial Page.
As a result of the Narcotics Task Force grant funding, the Narcotics Strike Force's covert electronic surveillance capabilities have vastly expanded and further evolved to greatly improve the ability to conduct a wide variety of sophisticated investigations. The grant also provided financial assistance to allow for the Prosecutor's Office to form a multi-jurisdictional drug task force. Local police officers from the County's police department are assigned on a rotating basis to the Narcotics Strike Force to assist County detectives.
Restructured as Gangs, Guns & Narcotics Task Force
In 2008, with the inception of Governor Jon Corzine's strategy for safe streets and neighborhoods, the Narcotics Strike Force was restructured as the Gloucester County Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force. The primary mission of the Task Force will be the investigation of offenders who engage in gang related violence, especially those engaging in gun violence.
The Task Force will continue to target drug enforcement where such enforcement is consistent with the larger mission of suppressing gangs, and gun violence.
Functions, Procedures & Legal Assistance
The Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force Commander is responsible for reviewing and maintaining control of all manpower assignments, financial expenditures, grant management and monitoring. The Unit Commander is also responsible for the final review of daily and specialized tactical operations.
The Unit's Deputy Commander is responsible for supervisory direction of all daily investigations and operations. The Deputy Commander is further responsible for assigning County detectives and assigned municipal police officers to investigations, reviewing open cases and daily coordination of cooperative drug investigations with outside agencies.
County detectives and local police officers assigned to the Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force are responsible for preliminary and follow-up investigation of all approved cases from when the initial complaint is received through the trial. The detectives have all received specialized training in:
- Advanced drug identification
- Analytical evaluation
- Case preparation and prosecution
- Clandestine laboratory investigations
- Covert surveillance
- Electronic surveillance
- Indoor/outdoor marijuana eradication
- Installation and utilization of electronic surveillance equipment
- Undercover operations
The Prosecutor's Office also maintains the Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force Entry Team which is utilized for all search warrant and arrest warrant service. The team is a volunteer assignment and is comprised of County detectives from the Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force, Fugitive Unit and Major Crimes Unit.
The Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force legal assistance is handled by a Senior Assistant County Prosecutor and two Assistant Prosecutors. These Assistant Prosecutors prosecute all drug related cases from intake, grand jury presentment through the trial phase. They also review and pursue all state, County and municipal forfeitures actions initiated within the County.
Reporting Drug Dealers
To report a drug dealer to the Gloucester County Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force call or email:
- Phone: 856-224-8220 (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm)
- Tip Line: 856-853-9346 (24 Hours a day, 7 days a week)
- Email the Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force
The identity of all callers will remain confidential.
NJ State Police Marijuana Reward Program
You may be paid up to $500 for information leading to the seizure of growing marijuana.
Contact the New Jersey State police, by:
- Toll-Free Phone: 888-798-9333 (WEED) (available 24 hours a day)
- Mail to:
New Jersey State Police
P.O. Box 465
Woodstown, New Jersey 08098