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      New task force takes a bite out of criminal money

      New task force nets 111 criminals & $2.4 million

      A new multi-agency task force is proving to be a good idea.

      The government says the new police task force, based in Columbus, has seized nearly $2.4 million this year in proceeds from criminal activities.

      U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's homeland security division launched the Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force in February to fight criminals' use of money to fund their activities.

      In addition to the $2.4 million the task force seized, it also made 111 arrests on charges of illegally smuggling money in or out of the United States to aid criminal operations.I.C.E. says criminal groups smuggle money across the county and also out of the country, taking funds gained from selling drugs and weapons and the sex trafficking of women and children.

      The task force consists of I.C.E. agents and officers from Columbus, Franklin County, suburban Hilliard and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

      With Interstate 75 being a major corridor to and from Canada, there is no word at the time of this report if any agencies in our area will be involved in the task force in the future.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.