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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2005
Attorney General Launches Operation: Allied Against Meth


SEATTLE -- Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a new statewide anti-methamphetamine program that will assist local communities in fighting the production and sale of meth.

"Operation: Allied Against Meth" is a three-pronged effort that will provide direct assistance to local prosecuting attorneys, team with community-based organizations to educate and prevent meth use and develop long-term meth prevention strategies.

"Methamphetamine is taking a devastating toll on children and families in Washington, and local communities need help." said McKenna. "'Operation: Allied Against Meth'" will bring additional resources to local prosecutors and help mobilize existing community meth action efforts."

McKenna will hire two new assistant attorneys general to assist counties in the enforcement and prosecution of meth-related crimes. At the request of local prosecutors, the team of attorneys will help charge and prosecute complex local cases, such as those involving conspiracy, RICO, property forfeiture and economic crimes.

In addition, the attorneys will assist prosecutors with case backlogs, cases that cross jurisdictional boundaries, meth lab cases and those that involve criminal activity connected to meth crimes.

"Our goal is to bring additional resources to county prosecutors struggling with burgeoning meth caseloads," said McKenna.

As part of the new program, the Attorney General's Office will also partner with community-based organizations and industry associations to raise awareness and prevent use of methamphetamine. As an example, McKenna will be giving presentations to four high schools across the state this week with Lead On America, a Snohomish County-based community group.

"Prosecution of meth-related crimes is a big step toward eradicating meth in our communities," he said. "But education and prevention are key to keeping people off meth in the first place."

McKenna will also create a task force of local and state law enforcement officials to evaluate and recommend meth-prevention tools, including drafting legislation for the 2006 legislative session.

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For more information contact:

Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725

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