ISP: drug trafficking increasing in SE Idaho

ISP: Drug trafficking increasing in SE Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Drug trafficking in Mexico is a business worth more than $50 billion per year.

According to the FBI, the flow of drugs across the Mexican border has intensified and several smuggling routes even travel through southeast Idaho. 

Although ISP said officers fight every day to keep drugs of the streets, there's still a significant drug trafficking problem. 

"The two that we're really starting to see more of is marijuana and meth," said Neil Stevens.

ISP Trooper, Neil Stevens, said a lot of Idaho's neighboring states have legalized marijuana, either for personal or medical use and that could be why they're seeing more on the road. 

"We're starting to see a lot of that marijuana actually just traveling through the state, whether they're going home or traveling back home," said Stevens.

Stevens said I-15 serves as a corridor for drug smugglers, giving them access to surrounding states. US 20 is also a corridor; Stevens said he's seeing an increase in drug trafficking headed toward North Dakota. 

"It never surprises me where we end up finding them," said Stevens. " A lot of the time we're able to use K9 dogs to help us detect the locations where they're really hitting."

Surprisingly, Stevens said most drug busts happen through a simple routine traffic stop. 

"It's not necessarily tips or things that are out there, just good hard work and being able to use our skills to find the drugs that are out there," said Stevens. 

Statistics show that in 2011, around 1.6 million people were arrested in the U.S. on non-violent drug charges.

The U.S. Government estimates that more than 118 million Americans over the age of 12 admit to using illegal drugs.

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