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Task Force Working On Drug Investigations In County

A significant amount of investigations of drug-related crimes are taking place and arrests are being made in Roosevelt County.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick said that the Safe Trails Task Force is now operating. The task force consists of a collaboration between the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Peck Tribes, Bureau of Indian Affairs, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Frederick explains the Safe Trails Task Force started in December of 2018 with the assistance of U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Around that time, Memorandums of Understanding were signed by the various law enforcement agencies. When the FBI head in Glasgow was transferred, however, progress to get the drug task force running stalled.

“I reached out to Sen. Daines back in October of last year,” Frederick said. “He got the ball rolling again.”

Daines had FBI officials meet with Frederick to make sure that the Safe Trails Task Force became a reality.

“There has been a number of investigations that have been made in the last five months,” Frederick said. “Most of them are in the federal system.”

News releases pertaining to these arrests are normally handled by the federal agencies that charge the suspects, so often the news is made public until the cases hit the federal courts.

Frederick noted that Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen putting DCI in Glasgow has also been beneficial.

“Fentanyl is our number one priority right now followed by methamphetamine and prescription pills,” Frederick said. “People don’t understand how dangerous fentanyl is. It’s killing our people.”

The sheriff explained fentanyl can be in pills, crushed, snorted, shoot up and mixed with meth.

“A lot of the fentanyl is laced into other drugs,” Frederick said. “Sometimes people think they are taking meth, but it’s also laced with fentanyl and it can be fatal.”

He said several people have died from fentanyl in Roosevelt County during the last years. “This is a community problem, and we will fight it together,” Frederick said.

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