KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Northwest Missouri Interagency Team Response Operation (NITRO) is celebrating ten years as a task force. NITRO was launched in Oct. 2002 to reduce drug-related and violent crime in northwest Missouri.

NITRO, which includes a 16-county area of northwest Missouri, was staffed initially by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Maryville Department of Public Safety and the Cameron Police Department. The agencies that have provided officers or agents, in addition to the original members, are: the Grundy County Sheriff's Department, the Andrew County Sheriff's Department, the Worth County Sheriff's Department, the Livingston County Sheriff's Department, the Daviess County Sheriff's Department, the Atchison County Sheriff's Department and the Trenton Police Department. Additional agencies and task forces participate on a case-by-case basis. NITRO works closely with the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri in prosecuting cases, as well as local prosecutors.

NITRO investigations have resulted in the arrest and conviction of violent crime organization members ranging from the street level dealer in northwest Missouri to their sources of supply in other states and countries. In 2008, the Missouri Narcotics Officer's Association named NITRO the "Law Enforcement Unit of the Year".

"NITRO is a glowing example of what happens when law enforcement works together," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Marino F. Vidoli. "Northwest Missouri is safer due to the dedication of these law enforcement partners over the past ten years."

To date, NITRO's investigations have resulted in charges filed on a total of 315 defendants. NITRO has seized a total of over 48 pounds of methamphetamine, 4 pounds of cocaine, 469 grams of crack cocaine, 73 pounds of marijuana and 646 firearms. NITRO has also seized ten real properties and twenty vehicles with values totaling over $680,000. In addition, NITRO seized funds totaling of over $440,000; with $350,000 utilized to pay for the task force and over $93,000 shared with partnership agencies.