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Meth, heroin seizures skyrocket in Sioux Falls this year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A record amount of meth and heroin have been seized so far this year in Sioux Falls as a drug task force has conducted 357 operations with 105 search warrants.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A record amount of meth and heroin have been seized so far this year in Sioux Falls as a drug task force has conducted 357 operations with 105 search warrants.

The law officers have seized 52 pounds of meth, about $500,000 worth, so far this year, compared to just 11 pounds in 2017. October was an especially busy month with 11.8 pounds seized.

As for heroin, 3,808 grams have been seized with a value of $130,000 from January to October of this year. Last year, there were 140 grams of heroin seized.

“During these operations, the task force also has seized many other stolen or illegally possessed pharmaceuticals, cocaine, fentanyl, and other various illegal narcotics,” said Lt. Randy Brink, the police department narcotics commander, in a release on Friday, Nov. 9.

Brink said many drug dealers also possess firearms, and in operations so far this year the task force seized 59 guns. The vast majority of those seized guns, 37, had direct ties to meth. Twenty were tied to marijuana dealers.

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Brink said the drug cases pose a threat to the public that “is real and daily impacts many citizens; some are victims of drug-related crime and others have lost family members to addiction.”

Through October 2018, there were 40 known drug overdoses in Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County. Tragically, 16 of those overdoses ended in death.

Brink called the drug seizures a “resounding success.”

Police didn’t immediately have a record available of the number of arrests made in the drug bust operations.

However, public information officer Sam Clemens said the task force accomplished the increased arrests with only a couple added officers over the past two years.

The task force is primarily made up of six police officers, two Minnehaha County deputies and two state agents. Clemens said they work with other federal agents from time to time on different cases.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
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