Comments Off on Methamphetamine in Montana: A Force to be Reckoned With

Methamphetamine, a highly addictive and destructive drug, is no stranger to Big Sky Country and its reach has been increasing over the last 10 years.

Local law enforcement agencies saying they have seen an increase in the amount coming into the community, but have been able to combat it with the Russell Country Drug Task Force Agency, a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal agencies based out of Great Falls.

The Task Force was behind “Operation Highline Crystal Highway,” one of the largest drug busts in Montana’s memory.

John Schaffer, Captain of the Great Falls Police Department’s Investigative Services Bureau, says in this particular case, Federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency were involved alongside state investigators from the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, as well as the GFPD, Cascade County Sheriff’s Office and state probation and parole officers.

“We were able to remove a large amount of drugs from our community that now isn’t poisoning a certain population of our folks that live here,” Schaffer said.

The investigation spanned months and reached across the Western part of the United States, from Los Angeles, California to right here in north-central Montana. The investigation saw more than 20 pounds of meth move into the Treasure State and led to the arrest and indictment of 20 people.

Cascade County Attorney John Parker says that the poison’s grasp can stretch far beyond the user and that there is a major correlation between the drug and other crimes.

“What a lot of people don’t think about are the links to armed robberies, break-ins, and burglaries where people are stealing, taking money and assets by force to fuel their habit.” Parker said.

Parker also said he has seen meth as a factor in a number of severe domestic violence beatings and murders over the last decade.

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