KODE — A Southwest Missouri drug task force is getting federal attention for a big take-down.

The Office of National Drug Control named the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team for the Outstanding Investigative Effort award.

It focuses on a 2021 joint case involving multiple agencies including the FBI, DEA, Missouri Highway Patrol, and Joplin Police.

That led to the arrest of 23 suspects and the dismantling of a major drug trafficking organization.

“Most of these investigations stretch into months, sometimes years by the time they work them from start to finish. So, there’s a lot of hours, a lot of behind-the-scenes, a lot of surveillance work, just a lot of travel time. So, these take a lot of time to put these major cases together,” said Sloan Rowland, Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team

The case included the seizure of 30 pounds of methamphetamines, 15 firearms, and $142,000 in cash.

This is the third time ODET has won the award, including cases in 2013 and 2015.