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DEA seized 200% more heroin and fentanyl in 2020 in North Dakota

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 4:28 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Drug Enforcement Administration reports drug seizures have more than doubled in North Dakota from 2019 to 2020.

Although marijuana was the number one drug seized last year, agents are seeing a large spike of heroin and fentanyl coming into the state.

Combined, DEA agents saw a 223% increase in fentanyl and heroin seized in the state of North Dakota last year.

Agents say our state is a target for dealers to make quick money as vulnerable populations are always seeking the next high.

Pills coming into North Dakota are meant to look like over-the-counter pain killers.

“It’s a dangerous, very deadly, often lethal,” said Emily Murray, DEA public information officer.

Instead, many of the pills are laced with fentanyl.

“It’s a game of Russian roulette people are playing every time they are taking one of these pills,” said Murray.

Agents say the drugs are being brought from Detroit and distributed throughout the state.

Pills usually sold for $2 in Michigan can be sold for $60 - $80 in North Dakota.

“No state, no matter how insulted, you think you are or how protected you think you are, it’s unfortunately touching everyone,’ said Murray.

After the large increase last year, agents are worried what this year will bring.

“We know that number is going to be high again this year. Obviously it’s going to be higher than anyone wants,” said Murray.

Agents say they are working with area law enforcement to take down a large group of drug traffickers coming through the state, instead of focusing on the users.

North Dakota agents say the largest single pill seizure last year was approximately 4,300 pills.

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