The Boundary RCMP is continuing its attack on methamphetamine dealers in 2011 according to a recent policing report.
Grand Forks RCMP’s Staff Sgt. Jim Harrison said the abuse and trafficking of methamphetamine has been going on for quite some time and the regional detachment’s offensive, which began late last year, will continue.
“We see an awful lot of methamphetamine in town,” he said.
“We’ve certainly made that one of our highest priorities to target the methamphetamine dealers and we certainly had some really good success in putting some of them in jail here in the last six to eight months.”
According to the 2011 Report on Policing Boundary Regional Detachment, the local RCMP was short-staffed by four constables between spring and summer of 2010 and once back at full strength, the detachment was able to execute search warrants for stolen property and drugs between last September and December.
In the process, there were arrests, convictions and a number of known meth dealers were sentenced to jail.
“We’re using our local intelligence and the fact that we do know who’s out there in the community and who’s doing it,” said Harrison when asked about the effort to prosecute dealers.
“A lot of times it’s that frustrating situation where we know somebody is doing it but we have to prove it and that’s what’s happening; we’re putting a lot more effort into establishing cases enough to the point that we can actually arrest and prosecute these people.”
The policing report also stated that there seemed to be a trend that sees drug abusers combining illegal and legal narcotics and Harrison said methamphetamine was also amongst the drugs in that situation.
There have also been two sudden deaths in the Grand Forks area from prescription drug overdose in the last six months.
“In both cases, when we got their blood results back from toxicology through the coroner’s office, we found out that (the deceased) were using multiple drugs at the same time,” Harrison explained.
“Things such as methadone, morphine, methamphetamine, OxyContin, those types of drugs as well as marijuana. In both cases, there was no alcohol but there was all these illegal and legal drugs mixed up; they’re taking a bunch of stuff all at the same time.”
With the successful prosecution of the known meth dealers over the past year and a half, Harrison has noticed a positive effect that is possibly related.
“One of the things we’ve found is that since we’ve started to put some of these dealers in jail are property crimes have gone down in town.”
According to the 2011 policing report, between 2009 and 2010, total break and enters have decreased from 59 to 46 in the city of Grand Forks and vehicle theft has declined from 20 to nine.
“Most of these property crimes are related one way or another to drug abuse; people stealing and breaking in to support their habits type of thing and again, that’s why our primary target is to go after the drug traffickers,” Harrison went on to say.