A conversation with the DEA about the increase in drugs across Michigan

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said across Michigan, they are seeing a major increase in methamphetamine and fentanyl.

Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin oversees all of Michigan and all of Ohio for DEA Operations. He calls the trends he is seeing this year, “very concerning.”

SAC Martin said in 2020 for Michigan and Ohio, approximately 550 pounds of meth was seized. This year, they have seized more than 2,000 pounds of meth.

“We know that the Mexican cartels are flooding the market with meth. It’s coming across the southwest border, and being transported into Ohio and Michigan. The cartels are using the same routes they’ve used for the last hundred years. They just change up their method of concealment or transportation,” said SAC Martin.

SAC Martin said those increases aren’t from single large seizures, but an overall increase in shipment size.

“We’re seeing meth being sent through the mail. We’re seeing it transported by commercial vehicle and private vehicle. What’s really concerning to me is we’ve had meth seizures that are typically 20-30 pounds would be a normal meth seizure for us last year in Michigan. This year we’ve had multiple hundred pound meth seizures in Michigan, which is just unheard of. Then you couple that with the fentanyl which we are seeing coming across the southwest border by the Mexican drug cartels and getting into Michigan. Last year we seized 170 kilos of fentanyl. This year, we’re over 250 kilos of fentanyl,” said SAC Martin.

SAC Martin said his agents are seeing fentanyl mixed with other drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin.

“If we can save one life, that’s a victory for us. Really the main thing is to educate our kids, educate our adults, our communities, and get that message out that the one thing you don’t want to do is take a pill. What do kids do? What’s concerning for me is the college kids. What do college kids do? They drink, they party, and they like to have fun. And they should. What’s dangerous now is if one of these kids takes a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl, they can die,” said SAC Martin.

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