HELENA — Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen says a record amount of fentanyl has been seized in the state in the first half of 2023.
The Department of Justice says, so far through June 30, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task forces have seized more than 286,000 doses of fentanyl.
That is a 52% increase over the entire amount seized last year and a 373% increase over all of 2021.
The AG’s office says these numbers are only from the six drug task forces and don't take into account seizures from local agencies.
According to the AG’s office, fentanyl-related deaths have also been on the rise.
The state crime lab has reported 48 fentanyl-related deaths so far this year, putting us on track to surpass 2022's 77 fatal fentanyl overdoses.
During the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers approved additional resources to fight fentanyl and other illegal drugs, including funding for additional narcotics agents and increased penalties for trafficking fentanyl.