11/28/2014

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More drugs being seized locally

More drugs being seized locally
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR learned more drugs continue to be seized in the Tri-Cities. From meth to heroin to coke, it's all here.

And the amount is increasing. KEPR discovered why the Tri-Cities can be a hub for the rest of the northwest when it comes to the drug supply.

Interfering with drug deals is the goal of the Metro Drug Task Force.

"We keep our secrets to ourselves so that we can be effective," said Commander Trevor White.

Commander White won't show his cards to offer any edge to a dealer. His team seizes all kinds of drugs from around the area. Over the course of the past five years, the Task Force has taken even more drugs off the streets.

Since 2011, the amount of heroin seized has increased by 77 times. Cocaine increased by 67 times. Meth increased by nine times. But Commander White says Meth is the main culprit and involves the most effort.

"Meth is the most destructive so it's the one that we tend to focus on the most - and it's also the most - besides from marijuana - it's the most widely available," said White.

The Metro Drug Task Force says the big picture is that we do have a drug problem here in the Tri-Cities. But out problem is a bit different than some of the other cities across the state, like Spokane, they are seeing more of the retail side of the issue, while here in the Tri-Cities, we are known as a major distribution hub.

Commander White says our highway system is perfect for maneuvering drugs quickly. Drugs can come and go quickly in the Tri-Cities to areas all over the northwest. And the hard stuff has gotten more accessible. It costs about a third of what it once did and it's even more potent.

"Until we can curb the demand for illegal narcotics in the U.S., we will not solve this problem," said White.

Heroin overdoses tend to make headlines more than meth. It has a stigma as a more glamorous drug. But the Metro Drug Task Force says meth continues to be the biggest problem here locally.
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