Las Vegas Sun

February 5, 2016

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Task force: Las Vegas drug seizures centered on I-15 last month

A drug trafficking task force involving multiple Southern Nevada law enforcement agencies announced drug seizure amounts for last month and said most occurred on Interstate 15.

The Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Southern Nevada Interdiction Task Force said authorities seized the following amounts of drugs in July:

- 24 pounds of marijuana

- 30 pounds of methamphetamine

- 22 pounds of cocaine

- 9 pounds of heroin

Kent Bitsko, director of the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, said authorities seized most drugs during traffic stops.

The cocaine seizures involved two stops, and the methamphetamine and heroin seizures involved one stop each, he said. It’s unclear how many stops resulted in the marijuana seized last month.

Task force officials have noticed a spike in the amount of drugs seized in the last few months, but Bitsko said it’s too early to tell whether that’s indicative of more drugs in the Las Vegas Valley.

“In the narcotics world, the dopers have an unlimited amount of money to spend to get their drugs to market,” Bitsko said. “Law enforcement is always trying to catch up.”

Methamphetamine seizures have almost doubled in the first six months of this year compared to 2010, Bitsko said.

“I’m hoping that it’s our investigations getting more sophisticated and not more drugs coming in,” Bitsko said.

Even so, Bitsko noted that many of the drugs seized were being taken to other places, especially cities east of Las Vegas.

The task force includes detectives from Metro Police and Henderson Police, troopers from the Nevada Highway Patrol and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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