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State of the State: W.Va. Governor Justice pledges support for busting drug dealers, child welfare and fossil fuels

By Erin Beck, Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In his fourth State of the State address following the opening day of the 2020 legislative session Wednesday, Governor Jim Justice asked for financial support for ongoing problems in West Virginia, including the child welfare and drug overdose crises, while also encouraging continued support for the state’s coal and natural gas industries. 

Drugs “could cannibalize this state but we’re making progress,” he said. 

Justice, a Republican, said he is ordering Jeff Sandy, cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, to form a new narcotics intelligence unit at the state Fusion Center to combat drug transport into the state, and asked lawmakers for $1.9 million to fund it. According to that agency, the Fusion Center is where “multiple levels of law enforcement, public safety agencies and private entities share resources, expertise and information.”

Justice said drug dealers pick certain West Virginia communities “because they know you’re soft and you can’t catch them,” and added that “anybody that is trying to come into our state with drugs, we are going to bust your ass.” …

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