NCW Narcotics Task Force

The North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force (NCWNTF) is a federally funded multi-jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force. The NCWNTF is operated by an Executive Board made up of member representatives from contributing local, county, state, and federal agencies and governments throughout the county.
The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office is proud to be the executive host agency of the NCWNTF

The North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force is operated off a Federal Grant called the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant. The Byrne Grant runs from July 1st through June 30th of each year. There are currently about 20 Bryne Grant Task Forces in the State of Washington but because of Federal funding cuts there may be Bryne Grant cuts in the future.

The Task Force staff fluctuates depending on the staffing and budget status of participating agencies.  The NCWNTF is typically staffed with at least one detective supervisor and two detectives as well as one support staff employee. Past manning has included 6-10 employees from agencies around the county.

Our main objective is the control of illegal controlled substances to and from the areas of our jurisdiction. The task force investigates upper level dealers in Okanogan and Ferry Counties, but it often travels throughout North Central Washington to purchase narcotics from suspects that supply drugs to our region.

The task force also works border cases involving narcotics smuggling, human trafficking, and money laundering. The Okanogan County Prosecutors Office prosecutes all the task force cases with an exceptional conviction rate.

Opioid Crisis
Fentanyl Awareness
2021 Opioid Death Rates-WA State


What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used medically for severe pain and during surgery. It is a schedule 2 drug and can be prescribed or dispensed for medical purposes.

Over the last two decades fentanyl has also been manufactured illicitly, initially occasionally, and since approximately 2014 with much greater frequency. "Fentanyl" can be an umbrella term, including fentanyl itself as well as various analogues of fentanyl, some of which are legal. While all fentanyls are generally more potent than heroin, potency varies widely.
Why is Fentanyl dangerous?
Most fentanyl found in illicit drugs is manufactured without any medical controls and is nearly impossible to render safe.

In Washington State fentanyl-involved drug overdose deaths are increasing, and preliminary data from the WA State Department of Health indicate that in 2020 they have become more common than heroin deaths and those involving commonly prescribed opioids.


What is Methamphetamine?
A drug with immense abuse potential, methamphetamine (known on the street as "speed," "meth," "crank," "crystal-meth," and "glass") is a central nervous system stimulant of the amphetamine family. Like cocaine, it is a powerful "upper" that produces alertness, and elation, along with a variety of adverse reactions. The effects of methamphetamine, however, are much longer lasting then the effects of cocaine, yet the cost is much the same. For that reason, methamphetamine is sometimes called the "poor man's cocaine."

Methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant.

The drug works directly on the brain and spinal cord by interfering with normal neurotransmission. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances naturally produced within nerve cells used to communicate with each other and send messages to influence and regulate our thinking and all other systems throughout the body.

The main neurotransmitter affected by methamphetamine is dopamine. Dopamine is involved with our natural reward system. For example, feeling good about a job well done, getting pleasure from our family or social interactions, feeling content and that our lives are meaningful and count for something, all rely on dopamine transmission.

As with many drugs, methamphetamine, if prescribed by a physician, is legally available in the United States for the treatment of attention deficit disorders and obesity. Unfortunately, much of the methamphetamine available on the street is illicit methamphetamine from clandestine laboratories in the United States. In the 1970s methamphetamine became a Schedule II drug - a drug with little medical use and a high potential for abuse.
How is Meth TAKEN?
Methamphetamine can be ingested, inhaled, or injected. It is sold as a powder or in small chunks which resemble rock candy. It can be mixed with water for injection or sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana and smoked. Chunks of clear, high-purity methamphetamine ("ice," "crystal," "glass") are smoked in a small pipe, much as "crack" cocaine is smoked. Since methamphetamine will vaporize rapidly, some heat the drug and inhale the fumes that are released.
What are the SYMPTOMS OF USE?
Some of the symptoms of methamphetamine use are: Sleeplessness Loss of appetite and weight loss Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea Elevated body temperature Skin ulceration and infection, the result of picking at imaginary bugs Paranoia Depression Irritability Anxiety Increased blood pressure Seizures For pregnant women - premature labor, detachment of the placenta, and low birth weight babies with possible neurological damage. For intravenous (I V) users - AIDS, hepatitis, infections and sores at the injection site, and infection of the heart lining and valves.
How is meth made?
The processing required to make methamphetamine from precursor substances is easier and more accessible than ever. There are literally thousands of recipes and information about making meth on the Internet. An investment of a few hundred dollars in over-the-counter medications and chemicals can produce thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine. The drug can be made in a makeshift "lab" that can fit into a suit case. The average meth "cook" annually teaches ten other people how to make the drug. Clandestine labs known as "mom and pop" labs are found in rural, city and suburban residences; barns, garages and other outbuildings; back rooms of businesses; apartments; hotel and motel rooms; storage facilities; vacant buildings; and vehicles. For more information on Meth or any other drug found on the the street, visit this link Street Drugs