Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen made a significant announcement, revealing that anti-drug task forces in Montana have already confiscated a staggering amount of fentanyl in the first half of this year, surpassing the 2022 totals and setting a new record.

Through June 30, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) task forces in Montana seized a total of 286,897 dosage units of fentanyl, marking a 52% increase over the amount seized in the entire previous year, which stood at 188,823 dosage units.

In comparison, the year 2021 saw a significantly lower seizure of 60,557 dosage units.

Please note that these seizure statistics pertain specifically to the six RMHIDTA Montana task forces and do not encompass all drug seizures by law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

Notably, these task forces have also confiscated 45 percent more cocaine this year compared to the previous year, with 35.04 pounds seized, up from 24.11 pounds in 2022.

Additionally, they've already seized nearly the same quantity of methamphetamine as in the previous year, amounting to 187.60 pounds in the first half of this year.

Furthermore, routine traffic stops by Montana Highway Patrol troopers are increasingly leading to drug-related arrests.

Montana Highway Patrol Seizures

Between January and June of this year, the Montana Highway Patrol seized or assisted in seizing 62,373 fentanyl pills and 1.33 pounds of fentanyl during stops.

This includes 5,745 pills and 15.82 grams confiscated during cold traffic stops initiated by the Patrol.

Fentanyl-linked Deaths In Montana

Last year, the State Crime Lab reported 77 overdose deaths involving fentanyl, representing a staggering 1,750 percent increase from 2017 when there were only four such deaths.

Preliminary data for the first half of 2023 indicates 48 fentanyl-related deaths. It's important to note that the statewide total may be higher, as the crime lab only confirms deaths involving autopsy.

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