February 14, 2024 — Idaho Governor Brad Little was joined by Sheriff Kieran Donahue, Idaho State Police Director Colonel Ked Wills, Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff, Idaho Lieutenant Governor Scott Bedke, and Idaho Office of Drug Policy Administrator Marianne King in Nampa today for a press conference to announce the signing of an executive order formally establishing Operation Esto Perpetua and expanding its focus to include human trafficking in all its forms. The video of the press conference and the full press release from the Governor’s Office are below.

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February 14, 2024

Gov. Little signs Operation Esto Perpetua executive order to fight drugs, human trafficking

Nampa, Idaho – Governor Brad Little signed an executive order today formally establishing Operation Esto Perpetua, his crime-fighting group of leaders tasked with getting drugs off our streets and fighting human trafficking. The executive order follows through on commitments he made in his 2024 State of the State and Budget Address.

“When I launched Operation Esto Perpetua in 2022, we knew we had our work cut out for us. Meth and fentanyl seizures have dramatically increased in Idaho and across the country. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we have more work to do, particularly in addressing human trafficking,” Governor Little said.

Executive Order 2024-04 formally establishes Operation Esto Perpetua in law and expands its focus to include human trafficking in all its forms. The executive order can be found here: https://gov.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/eo-2024-04.pdf

Operation Esto Perpetua is made up of leaders in law enforcement, the tribes, legislators, local and community officials, and others. Since 2022, recommendations from the group led to the implementation of the highly successful Fentanyl Takes All campaign, resulting in more Idaho youth knowing more about the dangers of fentanyl than ever before. The group identified the need to better integrate information sharing between law enforcement, first responders, health care, tribes, coroners, and others to tackle the problems strategically, and now partners at all levels are working better together. Operation Esto Perpetua also highlighted the need to increase resources for mental health and behavioral health to help prevent tragedy. Over the past few years, Idaho has made historic investments in community resources for behavioral health.

“Operation Esto Perpetua has demonstrated that when you get the right heads together, we can form a strategic approach to complex problems and help save lives,” Governor Little added.

Governor Little focused on the need to expand the group’s focus to include human trafficking, including sex trafficking, labor trafficking, human smuggling, and all other appropriation of vulnerable children and adults.

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery. The cartel and other bad actors are taking advantage of our open border to manipulate and abuse the most vulnerable, including children,” Governor Little said. “Through this executive order, we will reconvene our Citizens Action Group to gather information about the severity of the threat of drugs and human trafficking in Idaho, as well as ideas to combat it and the needed tools to respond.”

Recommendations from the group will inform the State of Idaho’s budget and policy decisions to help save lives in the coming months and years.

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