Ed Shemelya is the National Coordinator for HIDTA’s National Marijuana Initiative, a position he assumed when he retired afer 30 years of service with the Kentucky State Police. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Eastern Region Marijuana Coordinator for the Appalachia HIDTA, and was responsible for monitoring marijuana cultivation and related activities within the four state region of the Appalachia HIDTA.
Mr. Shemelya began his law enforcement career in 1979, when he began working patrol, general investigations, and narcotics at the Pikeville Post of the KSP. Promoted to sergeant in 1985, and then lieutenant in 1988, he served the agency in several capacities, including Internal Affairs, Research and Development, and commander of the KSP’s frst full-time Special Response Team.
In 2003, he was appointed Commander of the Governor’s Marijuana Strike Force and the Kentucky Eradication Initiative. His multi-agency task force was charged with fighting Kentucky’s outdoor and indoor marijuana cultivators. During Mr. Shemelya’s six years as commander of the Kentucky Eradication Task Force, the Office of National Drug Control Policy recognized the KETF as the most outstanding eradication task force in the nation for four consecutive years.
Mr. Shemelya resides in London, Kentucky and is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, and holds an additional certifcate from Northwestern University. He is married with two daughters and four grandchildren.