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Montana law enforcement seized record amounts of fentanyl last year

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(The Center Square) – The amount of fentanyl seized in Montana last year was over double the amount in 2022, according to Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s office.

In 2023, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task forces seized a total of 398,552 dosage units of fentanyl, up from 188,823 dosage units compared in 2022 and 60,557 in 2021. Since 2019, fentanyl seizures by state anti-drug forces are up over 20,000%, the office said in a statement.

Knudsen said that while the state has increased resources to combat fentanyl, it’s up to the Biden administration to secure the Southern border.

“Fentanyl is a poison that’s killing men, women, and children at unprecedented rates and devastating Montana communities,” he said.

“We’re putting more boots on the ground and giving prosecutors the tools they need to hold perpetrators accountable, but until the southern border is secure the problem will not be solved,” Knudsen added. “President Biden needs to do his job, follow the law, and secure the border.”

Knudsen’s comments come ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday evening. Biden supported border legislation that failed to pass Congress last month.

The attorney general is advising Montanans to “never take a pill that is not prescribed to you.” He also recommends people talk to their children about the dangers of drug use.

“Just one pill can take a life,” Knudsen said.

Montana’s State Crime Lab reported 80 overdose deaths last year involving fentanyl. In 2017, there were four overdose deaths involving fentanyl.

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