AP NEWS

DEA: North Dakota sees large spike in meth seizures

December 17, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Drug Enforcement Administration has reported a drastic jump in methamphetamine seizures in North Dakota this year, a trend that local law enforcement agencies are also seeing.

The DEA seized nearly 62 pounds of meth in North Dakota for fiscal year 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, the Bismarck Tribune reported. The federal law enforcement agency seized just 3 pounds in the state the year before.

“Local and state law enforcement have probably seized an equal amount if not more,” said Ken Solek, an assistant special agent at the DEA’s Minneapolis office.

Solek attributed the spike in North Dakota meth seizures to an increase in the drug’s supply, with the primary source coming from Mexican cartels distributing through Minnesota to the Dakotas.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem added that the price for meth has dropped significantly and the drug’s purity level is dangerous.

“A lot of the attention is on heroin and fentanyl, which is proper, but (law enforcement agencies) are still saying meth is the biggest drug problem that we have,” Stenehjem said.

Solek said that more seizures are also the result of better coordination between law enforcement agencies, which are pooling together resources to disrupt organizations supplying meth.

“When you see large seizures like that, it means we’re working our way up into the food chain a little higher, a little bit better,” he said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com