Meth arrests rising across the country, metro no exception - KCTV5

Meth arrests rising across the country, metro no exception

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The number of people going to federal prison for trafficking certain drugs - like meth - is going up across the country, and the Kansas City area is no exception. (AP) The number of people going to federal prison for trafficking certain drugs - like meth - is going up across the country, and the Kansas City area is no exception. (AP)
JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

The number of people going to federal prison for trafficking certain drugs - like meth - is going up across the country and the Kansas City area is no exception.

Illicit drugs make it to the metro several ways, according to Troy Derby.

Derby is the Special Agent in Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Johnson County.

Derby says drugs, like methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana are driven in by car and semi-trailer and flown in.

The quantities of methamphetamine coming in to the city has grown.

“They’ve graduated up to pound quantities, which is a standard,” he said. In years past, Derby says both the liquid and powered form of methamphetamines were being trafficked in smaller quantities.

New numbers released from the U.S. Sentencing Commission show an uptick in federal drug sentences for the country as a whole.

Since 2013, the number of people charged with trafficking methamphetamine has steadily risen.  That year about 5,500 people were sentenced for trafficking meth.

In 2016, that number was closer to 6,500.

“The rise of meth has been taking place for some time,” Derby said about the landscape of drug trafficking in Kansas City.

The same numbers show a drop in sentences for drugs like marijuana, cocaine and a steady decline in sentences with connections to moving crack.

Derby says his agency sees the impact of drugs on a community.

“We see really a connection with drug trafficking and crimes of violence,” he said.               

The number of federal sentences for marijuana has dropped since 2013.

Derby says drugs don’t discriminate. His agency finds them all over the metro.

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