03/29/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/29/2023 14:42
KEARNEY, Neb. - As drug trends change and overdose incidents increase across the country, law enforcement partners continue working to counter the threat to Nebraska communities through enforcement and education. That ongoing partnership was on display for law enforcement agencies and county attorneys during this week's second annual Nebraska Drug Forum, held in Kearney.
Last year, methamphetamine was the primary focus of the Nebraska Drug Forum. This year, attendees received additional training on a broad range of drug-related topics. More than 150 investigators, prosecutors, and representatives from law enforcement agencies attended the two-day forum.
"Illicit drugs are harming and killing Nebraskans in communities across our state. Having our local, state, and federal agencies work together and share resources is a critical part of the strategic response. This year's forum-with record-setting attendance that brought together police departments, sheriffs, county attorneys, postal inspectors, the state patrol, the FBI, the United States Attorney's Office, and the DEA-was an important step in our coordinated effort to keep Nebraskans safe," stated Attorney General Mike Hilgers.
Recent DEA laboratory testing reveals that 6 out of 10 fentanyl-laced pills now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. That is an increase over the rate of 4 out of 10 that tested positive for potentially lethal doses last year.
"Fentanyl and methamphetamine are the top two drug threats facing Nebraskans," DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. "Through the collaborative efforts of our state, local, federal, and tribal partners, we're raising awareness to the dangers of these substances and working together to remove the individuals responsible for bringing these potentially lethal substances into our communities."
"The FBI is dedicated to working with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in Nebraska to disrupt and dismantle criminal drug trafficking organizations.
The trafficking of illegal drugs is not a victimless crime. We remain committed to leveraging our task forces to target the most prolific traffickers, and tracing back the source of supply to identify where the drugs are coming from. Like all of our partners, we will not stand idly by and watch our neighborhoods suffer from the influx of drugs and the violence that comes with it," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Gene Kowel.
"The Nebraska Informational Analysis Center has an important role to play in connecting the dots between agencies," said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. "Our NIAC crime analysts are able to review information from a local narcotics case and potentially make connections that may lead to larger investigations, including our federal law enforcement partners."