Governor Little “Border Driving Drug Threat”
Idaho Governor Brad Little addressed the media today discussing how the border issue is impacting Idaho's security. The governor recently sent five state troopers to the border area in efforts to help border governors who've asked for help. The Biden Administration has declined to call the escalating issues at the border a crisis.
The governor began the conference with thanking law enforcement for their service and for meeting with him. He said the availability of drugs is having a negative impact on Idahoans calling them a threat to our Idaho Way of Life.
"It is truly a fantastic opportunity to send our best criminal interdiction trooper to learn what's happening and what's working to fight illegal drugs. Again I want to thank law enforcement leaders for what they're sharing and facing."
Governor Little said fentanyl from Mexico has become more prevalent in our region. Law enforcement says 96% identified Mexico as the source meth traffic for the region. The governor praised the five troopers who are working on the border. They've told him that what they're learning on the border will help protect Idahoans when they return. The governor reported that the Idaho Troopers are working as a force multiplier in the region.
Kedrick Wills the director of the Idaho State Police, stated that he's working with his Arizona counterparts. "Almost all of us have been impacted by some way of the criminal element in Idaho. We're all connected to somebody that has been a victim of crime. Without exception those crimes have been committed by people who are trying to get money to get drugs."
He continued by saying he was proud of the trooper's work in Arizona.
Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury spoke about how bad the overdose problem is in his city.
"The drug epidemic that were seeing now is something that I've never seen. Fentanyl is truly taking over our state with some really negative consequences. The Twin Falls Police Department has administered Narcan 30 times in the last twelve months. Narcan is the drug used to save lives from does of Fentanyl."
Here is the governor's release on the issue:
Governor Brad Little today hosted a round table with law enforcement leaders at Idaho State Police (ISP) headquarters in Boise to discuss Idaho’s growing drug threat and the connection to the United States-Mexico border.
“The sustained availability of drugs and the impact from crime related to drug abuse – including property and violent crimes – present continuing threats to the health and safety of Idahoans,” Governor Little said. “Meth and fentanyl are the most serious and growing drug threats in Idaho and there is a direct tie to the loose border with Mexico.”
For example, in the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), law enforcement reporting shows the supply of illicit fentanyl from Mexico in the region has become more prevalent. More than half of officers surveyed this year reported that investigations involving fentanyl were directly tied to sources in Mexico.
Law enforcement reporting shows meth is primarily transported into Oregon and Idaho from Mexico through California.
Of the Drug Trafficking Organizations investigated last year, 23 of 24 identified Mexico as the source country for drugs trafficked into the region.
The trend reinforces the Governor’s decision to send a team of five ISP troopers to the border to assist the State of Arizona with their drug interdiction efforts. The troopers are five of ISP’s expert criminal interdiction team. They are in Arizona to serve both as a force multiplier for local efforts at a time when it’s needed along the border and, importantly, to bring back to Idaho the experience of seeing and learning up-to-the-minute enforcement techniques.
The troopers deployed are trainers themselves and help teach hundreds of other state and local law enforcement right here in Idaho on illegal drug trends and updated enforcement techniques.
“It is truly a fantastic opportunity to send our best criminal interdiction troopers to learn what’s happening and what’s working with law enforcement efforts to fight the flow of illegal drugs, and to be a force multiplier along the border when it is badly needed,” Governor Little said. “I want to thank these law enforcement leaders here with me today for sharing with us what they are facing.”
Law enforcement leaders who participated in today’s roundtable include ISP Colonel Kedrick Wills, Twin Falls Chief of Police Craig Kingsbury, Bannock County Sheriff Tony Manu, ISP Lt. Colonel Sheldon Kelley, ISP Lt. Colonel Bill Gardiner, ISP District 1 (Coeur d’Alene) Captain John Kempf, and Fusion Center ISP Sgt. Bret Kessinger.
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