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Reichelt awarded by U.S. Postal Inspection Service for drug task force work


November 7, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

U.S. Postal Inspection Seattle Division Inspector Incharge Anthony Galetti, left, presents Tri-Agency Task Force Supervisor C.J. Reichelt with a commendation Wednesday at Havre City Hall.

Tri-Agency Task Force Supervisor C.J. Reichelt was commended Wednesday by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for his work and accomplishments preventing illegal substances from passing through the mail and for his work on the Tri-Agency Task Force.

"I just do my job," Reichelt said in an interview. "... I appreciate it very much, but we're just trying to do our part of the job and keep it out of other areas in our community."

U.S. Postal Inspection Seattle Division Inspector Incharge Anthony Galetti said that he wouldn't expect an officer who is so highly recognized to say anything different. 

At the award ceremony, Galetti said that he came to Havre to present the award to recognize Reichelt for his tremendous work and partnership over the years in helping to prevent illegal or dangerous substances from being transported through the mail.

"The mission of the Inspection Service is to protect the Postal Service, postal employees, the mail, postal customers and to keep bad guys from using the mail to do bad things," he said. "It's a big responsibility."

He added that the Postal Service is a large organization, with more than 650,000 employees, 30,000 facilities, 200,000 vehicles and 7.9 billion pieces of mail transported every year to people all over the country. The Seattle division has 1,400 agents, he said, and to cover such a large area that includes Montana, the inspection service needs to utilize partnerships on the local, state and federal level to achieve its mission. 

Keeping drugs and dangerous substances off the streets and out of the mail helps keep the area and the people safe and by partnering with agencies like the Tri-Agency Task Force they are able to focus on working cases which have a larger impact.

"That's what we have here with C.J.," he said, adding that in the past seven years they have had a real opportunity to work with him and work a number of cases regarding meth and heroin, getting those drugs off the streets and making the community a safer place.

Galetti said in an interview that without the help of these partnerships they would not be able to achieve their mission.

"It's very important to recognize hard work," he said.

He said resources are scarce and the inspectors in Helena are not able to carefully monitor Great Falls or the Havre area, which makes the Tri-Agency Task Force very important.

Havre Police Chief Gabe Matosich said that a high number of drug crimes occur every year through the mail, especially opiates, and the task force is a great tool to help prevent those drugs from reaching the streets. He added that many of these cases are referred to the federal level and brought to federal court.

He added that it is important to recognize the work of the task force and recognize the people who work hard behind the scenes to protect the community.

"The drug force task force agents work very hard every day," Matosich said. "They put in a lot of work and do a lot of work behind the scenes and they never really do get acknowledged or recognized for their accomplishments for what they do."

The last time the task force was recognized was in 2016, when task force agents Aaron Wittmer and Reichelt attended a banquet ceremony in Washington, D.C., and received the Outstanding Enforcement Prevention Treatments Efforts on Tribal Land Award, given out by the national drug-prohibition enforcement program, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.

He added that this is the first acknowledgement the task force has received from the Postal Service to his knowledge.

Reichelt said that drugs are a serious issue in the area and partnering with the Postal Service is just another way the task force combats the issue. By partnering, the task force is better able to share information so both agencies can better build capital drug crime cases and keep drugs off the streets.


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