Meth isn't a new problem for Montana, but it is a growing problem. For members of law enforcement and state prosecutors, it's growing at an alarming rate.
For instance in 2018, the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program seized more than 129 pounds of meth. At $80 a gram on the street, that adds up to more than $3.5 million!
Senator Steve Daines says that we have seen a 475% increase in meth cases from 2011 to 2017. He says that meth use has led to a rise in violent crime and is straining resources on our local, state and federal law enforcement.
So, I called United States Attorney for Montana Kurt Alme to see the impact of meth on his office.
Alme said, "Meth is a very big problem for our office, especially as it relates to violent crime. It is a major cause of the 35% increase in violent crime we've seen in Montana from 2013 to 2017."
Alme, tells me that from 2012 to 2016, meth offenses increased 313% percent in the Treasure State. From 2016-2017, meth trafficking offenses rose again by about one third.
Now, prosecutions of meth trafficking represent about 95% of all drug prosecutions in Montana.
Alme also said, "Meth traffickers and dealers need to know that they will be caught and they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And, anyone out there of your listeners who are using meth or who have a family member or friend who is using meth, they need to get help and help is available."
In 2018 in Montana, the US attorney's office prosecuted more than 200 meth traffickers, armed robbers and violent felons with firearms.
Kurt Alme says that we need to hit meth on all fronts: enforcement, treatment and prevention. He says that his office has implemented Project Safe Neighborhood which is focusing enforcement efforts to prosecute meth traffickers, armed robbers and violent felons with firearms.