Meth cases are on the rise in KOTA Territory - KOTA Territory News

Meth cases on the rise in KOTA Territory


There have been several meth busts in Lawrence County, specifically in Deadwood, but Pennington County has also seen its fair share of meth busts.

In 2012, there were 242 possession or distribution of methamphetamine cases in Pennington County. And in 2013 there were 449. Prosecutors say this is a disturbing trend.  

There is a stack of cases on Lawrence County State's Attorney, John Fitzgerald's desk. And a lot of them are meth cases.    

"It has increased there is no question in my mind as the prosecuting attorney here that they have increased," said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said some people on meth commit other crimes.  

"We've had lost of cases that have involved theft, burglary bad check, forgery that are directed in my opinion to methamphetamine. it's a very addictive and destructive drug there is a lot of it here and all over the country," said Fitzgerald.

One recent case happened at a Deadwood hotel.  

"It was about the fourth or the fifth of February and the maid called and said somebody left behind 40 grams of crystal methamphetamine," said Fitzgerald.

And it's not just on the rise in Lawrence County. There is an increase of meth cases in Pennington County as well.  

"The availability continues to be out there and I do think that some of the tools we have in terms of 24/7 and parole have assisted us in at least catching some of the people who are in possession. But the bottom line is we are definitely seeing more cases," said Mark Vargo, Pennington County State's Attorney.

So where is all of the meth coming from?  

"A lot of the methamphetamine we see in this area is coming from the west and south west states and is being brought into Rapid City for sale and use," said Patrick West, Supervisory Special Agent for the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

A key to solving the problem is keeping people informed.  

"We continue to educate people on the affects of methamphetamine and how it affects other people," said West.


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