On Tuesday, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced the formation of the new Organized Crime Interdiction Team at a press conference in Helena.

Flanked by Montana Highway Patrol Commander Colonel Tom Butler and Chief of the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation Brian Lockerby, Fox described how the team was created.

“With funding authorized by the 2017 Montana Legislature, the Montana Department of Justice has formed the Criminal Interdiction Team,” Fox began. “The team consists of six troopers with the Montana Highway Patrol including trained canines and supported by two agents with our Division of Criminal Investigation.”

Fox said the team has an ambitious goal of going after organized criminal activity wherever it may be found in the state.

“The primary goal of this team is to root out organized crime in Montana,” he said. “This includes crime such as drug and human trafficking, apprehension of wanted fugitives and recovery of stolen or illegal firearms. The criminal interdiction team will utilize federal, state and local criminal intelligence efforts, and patrol our highways in search of large-scale organized criminal activity.”

In closing, Fox had a message for criminals.

“To the criminals who might be listening, I have a message for you,” he said. “Stay out of Montana. We are looking for you, and if we find you, the punishment will be swift and severe.”

Fox said the team is one aspect of AID Montana, Addressing the Impact of Drugs Initiative.