Geneseo School Invites Feds to Talk Opiate Crisis

GENESEO – A public opiate trafficking forum is coming to Geneseo Central School by several current and former members of law enforcement, including the DEA.

According to a press release from Geneseo Central School District Superintendent Tim Hayes, forum is Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m in McCarthy Auditorium.

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The purpose of the forum is ‘to provide information about the opiate crisis that is endangering communities locally and across the country.’ The announcement for the talk follows the September investigation into the illegal distribution of Oxycontin pills among members of the varsity football team, which ultimately ended their season and stuck one student with criminal charges.

The New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NY/NJ HIDTA) is a federal program administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The mission of the NY/NJ HIDTA is to reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences, particularly drug abuse and drug-related crime, by building innovative and effective partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating in the region.

Three members of the HIDTA will present information regarding the trafficking of opiates in the region. Gene Nanna, Director of Operations for HIDTA (retired DEA); Steve Bevilacqua, Analyst for Drug Enforcement Agency; and Dan Rinadlo, NY/NH HIDTA (retired homicide detective from Buffalo PD) will offer first-hand knowledge of how the opiate crisis is impacting communities in our region.

John Bennett, a lifelong Geneseo resident who currently serves as Executive Director of the Genesee County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (GCASA), will share his perspective on how the opiate crisis is impacting individuals and families in local communities. In 2006, Bennett led his organization to be an early adopter in developing one of the region’s first opioid specific outpatient programs. Since that time GCASA has treated over 1500 patients with opioid addiction. More recently, Bennett is a founding member and the co-chair of the Western Rural Opioid Task Force comprised of over 50 organizations and 150 members. He is also the chairperson of the Opioid Access to Care Work Group.

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