BOZEMAN – The Missouri River Drug Task Force says it’s shut down more methamphetamine labs in the first half of this year than all of last year.
Task Force Commander Ryan Stratman says meth is the biggest issue facing the region and the top priority for the task force. Three meth lab operations have been shut down so far this year with two occurring in just the past week.
In the most recent case, taking place at a home off High Tower Road in Gallatin County, a community member tip started the investigation. Cmdr. Stratman says community tips are invaluable to their efforts.
“[People] know who their neighbors are, they know what’s going within the area, within the community,” he said.
Stratman adds that it’s people from outside the community often bringing in the drugs or helping to craft them. That cost, however, is shouldered locally. Cmdr Stratman says shutting down a meth lab can cost more than $20,000.
“We have law enforcement responding, processing,” said Stratman. “We have the fire department and the hazmat teams assisting decontamination."
Cmdr. Stratman says drug talks, informative events scheduled with the public, are one way they help spread the word on the effects of drugs in our community.