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WING task force reports increase in meth arrests

 


The Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics group is making more arrests for methamphetamine this year.

This chart covers all controlled buys and methamphetamine arrests during the past three years for Nebraska State Patrol's Troop E and the WING task force. Troop E serves the 11 counties that make up the Nebraska panhandle. A controlled purchase is when an undercover law enforcement official or an informant purchases an illegal substance in order in incriminate the seller.

Total drug activity has gone up year by year, although the percentage of arrests for methamphetamine use has fluctuated.

"This stuff's real cyclical," said Sgt. Dana Korrell, commander of the WING task force.

The number of arrests for methamphetamine use fluctuated between 2011 and 2012 because more people were using prescription pills that they received from doctors. The troopers worked with area doctors and think they have this problem under control.

"Everyone was doing pills," Korrell said. "Then meth came roaring back."

This year, Troop E has already made 74 controlled buys and 73 methamphetamine arrests, which puts them on track to have significantly more arrests this year.

"We're gonna be up substantially," Korrell said.

The troop has also been buying larger amounts of methamphetamine than in the past during controlled buys this year.

"Quantities we've purchased have been way up," Korrell said.

This means that demand for the drug in this area has increased, he added. While dealers used to generally sell only an eighth of an ounce, they are now selling much larger amounts.

"There are more one-ounce dealers than there used to be," Korrell said.

Not all of the controlled buys were for methamphetamine, and not all methamphetamine arrests were the result of controlled buys.

 

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