Pennsylvania State Police report exponential growth in the amounts of marijuana-derived liquid THC as well as fentanyl and cocaine seized in 2021 compared to 2020.
This helped fuel a 58.4% increase in the value of illegal drugs last year compared to 2020, which represents a 5.7% increase compared to the value in 2019.
A state police spokesperson said it was difficult to point to a single explanation – more drug use/dealing, increased patrols – for the continued increase in drug seizures during the era. of the coronavirus pandemic.
“PSP continues to ensure our soldiers have the training and resources necessary to enforce drug laws and identify traffickers,” spokesman Lt. Adam Reed told lehighvalleylive.com. “A good portion of these large amounts come from large “busts”. It could be the seizure of drugs from an individual who is trafficking them through Pa. on our highways, or the identification of dealers in our communities. These types of arrests and seizures often result in the seizure of large quantities of illegal drugs.
For the year, soldiers seized $72,004,713 worth of drugs, compared to $45,446,141 in 2020 and $43,007,629 in 2019. Last year, that included more than half a ton of cocaine, 733 pounds of methamphetamines, 551 pounds of fentanyl, 55 pounds of heroin and 247,000 assorted narcotic pills.
The state police also collected 3,484 pounds of prescription drugs and other drugs through its drug take-back program throughout 2021. There are 65 drug take-back boxes at police stations throughout 2021. of Pennsylvania, providing a way to dispose of unused or unwanted medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Below are charts examining the change in 2021 vs. 2020 and 2020 vs. 2019 in the value of drugs seized by soldiers each year, a proportional breakdown by type of drugs seized last year, and a list of quantities and values of drug seizures in 2021. Click the links here to view graphs, as they may not display on all platforms.
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Kurt Bresswein can be reached at [email protected].