Officials Concerned About Use of Fentanyl Surging in Montana
The sale and use of fentanyl have increased drastically in Montana, and law enforcement officials are doing their part to crack down on criminals attempting to bring the deadly drug into the state.
Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester says that law enforcement is seizing record amounts of fentanyl, a deadly drug 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine statewide and across the county.
On October 26, Governor Greg Gianforte issued a Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis Declaration for Butte-Silver Bow County. Here's what Gianforte said when signing the crisis declaration;
Like so many Montana communities, Butte has seen an alarming rise in fentanyl and opioid use and, as a result, a tragic loss of life. They’re stepping up to get the word out that one pill can kill, and we’re proud to stand with them as we work statewide to protect our communities from these deadly drugs.
The Bozeman Police Department has also reported an increase in Fentanyl use in Bozeman and issued the following statement on Monday morning.
Fentanyl has seen a drastic increase in the area in 2022. Per the MT DOJ, there has been more fentanyl seized in the past year than in the previous 3 years combined (2019-2021). In 2019, 1,900 doses of Fentanyl were seized in Montana.
In the first half of 2022, 111,611 doses of Fentanyl have been seized in Montana. Fentanyl is considered to be between 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Due to fentanyl’s potency, it is quickly becoming more prominent in Bozeman’s community. Fentanyl is a dangerous drug that is quickly spreading to the point of creating a crisis.
To help prevent that from happening, Officer Peterson and Canine Stretch worked tirelessly to train Stretch to detect the odor of Fentanyl. Canine Stretch is now trained and certified to detect the odor of fentanyl. Stretch is the first Canine in the area, possibly the State of Montana, that has the ability to detect Fentanyl. Police Canines were fortunate to locate Fentanyl in previous seizures due to having another drug (methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine) present to help the Police Canines locate dangerous drug odor. Now, Canine Stretch no longer needs to have other drugs present to detect the odor of fentanyl.
For more information about the Fentanyl and Opioid crisis in Montana, click here.