UPDATED: Attorney General Jeff Sessions coming to Billings

During the Reagan administration in the 1980's a war on drugs was declared in the United States.

Sadly, three decades later, the war rages on.

It's a topic that U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions will speak to this week during a visit to the Magic City.

Attorney General Sessions will deliver his remarks on Friday afternoon at the RimRock Foundation.

According to his office, the remarks will focus specifically on the drug crisis in America.

And it's a crisis that is playing out right here in Montana.

Take Yellowstone County for instance. According to the County Attorney's Office, we've seen an explosion in meth cases. Of the 1324 felony cases filed in 2016, 426 of those cases involved methamphetamine. That's just under a third of all cases prosecuted. And things didn't necessarily improve in 2017.

Take a look at the chart below. It shows a comparison of all drug cases filed in 2016 and 2017.

2016

2017

Total Number of Cases Filed

1324

1506

Charge

2016

Percentage

2017

Percentage

Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs

546

41.2%

614

40.7%

Criminal Possession with Intent to Distribute

60

4.5%

61

4%

Criminal Distribution of Dangerous Drugs

22

1.6%

55

3.6%

Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs

0

0%

4

0.2%

As you can see the vast majority of drug charges are directly related to possession in both years. Possession cases represented more than 40 percent of cases filed.

Charges for possession with intent to distribute were roughly the same from year to year.

But we did see a considerable increase in the number of cases involving the criminal distribution of dangerous drugs. That category jumped from 22 to 55 cases filed.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will travel to Billings, Montana, on Friday, April 27, 2018, to deliver remarks on the drug crisis in America.

The speech will take place at the Rimrock Foundation at 1:15 p.m.

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