Agencies Combining Efforts, to Fight Meth Distribution, Use

BEATRICE – In what seems like a significant crackdown on illegal drugs in the Beatrice area, police and sheriff’s officials are getting the help of the U.S. Marshal’s Service or Metro Area Task Force.

Chief of Beatrice Police, Bruce Lang says sometimes it’s simply a matter of staff shortage, but typically focuses on suspects who are mobile.

:25                  “activity level is”

Several recent arrests have involved suspects with pending warrants, or have included searches of homes where drugs, paraphernalia and equipment used for weighing or measuring drugs have been found.

Are law officers making a dent in the problem of drug distribution?

:33                  “addicts, themselves”

Years ago, methamphetamine labs were surfacing…either fixed or mobile operations.   Lang says the trend now is not as much local manufacturing of the drug, but meth trafficking into the area.  He says importing the drug is cheaper and carries less risk for the distributor.

:11                  “couldn’t tell ya”

In some interstate drug cases, authorities have seized not only significant amounts of illegal drugs, but sometimes, large amounts of cash.   Drug forfeiture laws allow law officers to seize the money.  And, although questions sometimes are raised about rights infringement when monetary seizures are made, Lang says it becomes clear how the money was derived.

:37                  “doin business, to ‘em”

When federally funded drug task force groups were in effect, a significant decline in methamphetamine was seen, as those units made several arrests.  But, as federal support for drug task force units dried up, the level of meth use increased again.

Aside from meth use, Lang says there is still concern over prescription drug abuse, and that has been a difficult problem to solve.

:24                  “huge problem”

Lang says Nebraska has not seen the level of prescription drug abuse other states have seen.  The same applies to heroin addiction.  He says that addiction increases as a result of prescription drug abuse…when addicts obtain heroin for less cost, than prescription drugs.

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