Meth is now Nebraska’s No. 1 drug threat, new enforcement coalition says

By: - January 26, 2022 4:42 pm

Citing a surge in methamphetamine seizures, a coalition of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies announced Wednesday that they are joining together to fight what the called the state’s No. 1 drug threat.

Seizures of meth grew by 293% in the last five years, according to the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office. Seizures by law enforcement agencies in Nebraska amounted to 768 pounds in 2021.

The partnership was announced at a press conference Wednesday at the Kearney Police Department. Participating agencies included the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI and Nebraska State Patrol.

“A leading goal of this partnership is to sound the alarm that meth use continues to spread across our state,” Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said. “We want citizens to be fully informed about the dangers of meth consumption and understand the destruction it brings to communities.”

The purpose of the coalition is to share best practices and ways to address the problem, stated a press release from the Attorney General’s Office.

Today’s methamphetamine, primarily produced by Mexican crime organizations, is deadlier, easier to access and roughly 69% cheaper than the version available in 2005, the Attorney General’s Office said.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.