AST: Fentanyl deaths quadruple; seizures of meth skyrocket in 2017

From Alaska State Troopers
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - More than 330 pounds of cocaine, heroin, and meth were seized inside the state of Alaska According to Alaska State Trooper Drug Enforcement Commander Captain Michael Duxbury.

According to the report, the opioid crisis is growing.

Last year, fentanyl-related deaths quadrupled, going from 8 in 2016 to 37 in 2017.

“The combined total of fentanyl that was seized and bound for Alaska last year was capable of killing — utilizing the two-milligram model — 24,235 potential lethal doses,” Duxbury said.

AST says criminals — including Mexican drug cartels — are becoming more aggressive about importing drugs into the state.

“We have worked cases this year on airlines, a common airline to this town, that were getting on every day and trafficking half a pound apiece, two people, every single day going to the lower 48 and coming back,” Duxbury said.

But it’s not just opioids. According to the report, more than 220 pounds of meth were seized in Alaska in 2017.

“We are seeing quantities that neither one of us have seen in our careers,” Lt. Steven Adams said.

Both Adams and Duxbury say that without the help of local law enforcement and federal agencies like FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals, that even more drugs could have slipped into the hands of dealers and onto the streets of Alaska.

Troopers estimate the cost of damage inflicted on the state by drug use in 2017 at $1.2 billion.

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