GREAT FALLS – The Montana Highway Patrol will receive a grant of $946,981 to combat meth trafficking.
The MHP announced in a news release on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) awarded the grant for anti-meth activities. Montana was one of only nine states to receive such a grant.
“The meth epidemic is killing Montanans and wreaking untold damage upon our children, families, and tribal nations,” Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said. “This grant allows us to expand our ongoing work to intercept meth before it gets into our communities.”
The money will be used to fund additional MHP troopers, equipment, and training to intensify meth interdiction efforts on Montana’s highways.
“The vast majority of meth in Montana is coming from Mexico, and our highways are the arteries upon which it travels,” said Colonel Tom Butler, MHP Chief.
“Traffickers are getting more creative in their efforts to evade detection, and so it is important for us to not simply respond but to strengthen our proactive approach on the known trafficking routes,” Col. Butler added”
The Montana Department of Justice formed a specialized Criminal Interdiction Team last year to focus on the more organized drug trafficking activities. Authorities say that cartels and other trafficking organizations account for most of the meth coming into Montana.
MHP launched its first-ever K-9 narcotic units in 2014. The six units operate out of strategic locations throughout Montana and travel the state regularly to conduct drug-interdiction operations. Deployment of the K-9 units has resulted in increased meth seizures, according to the MHP.