Many parts of eastern Washington have become hotbeds for drug trafficking and gang activity, and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office says Spokane could be next if it loses a key task force.
"This is the only drug and gang enforcement effort the Spokane County has," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
The Spokane County Drug and Gang Task Force have been nationally recognized for their "outstanding task force effort" in a 2013 multi-agency raid that seized over 10,400 OxyContin pills, and arrested 57 people on charges ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering.
"Which at the time was the largest number of indictments handed down in eastern Washington," said Lt. John Knowles with the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force.
The investigation targeted criminals here in Washington and the Los Angeles area.
"We were able to reduce crime in Los Angeles and here in Spokane. We were able to affect the drug distribution and price of narcotics here," said Knowles.
Now, the team's future is in peril.
"Without funding from the county, that task force in is jeopardy of being shut down in June," said Knezovich.