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Record haul: Task force seizures of meth in January top last 3 years combined

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Michigan State Police said Wednesday that a drug task force working near the Tri-Cities area seized more methamphetamine in January than it had in the three previous years combined.

Just eight cases worth of seizures added up to roughly 16 ounces of methamphetamine seized by the STING drug task force, state police said, which is 459.5 grams. 

Collectively, in 2018-2020, 15.59 ounces, or 442.2 grams, were seized in 118 cases.

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Lt. Liz Rich, a spokeswoman for the state police, told The News on Wednesday that at least one person confessed to using COVID-19 stimulus funds to buy the drugs.

STING is the Strike Team Investigative Narcotics Group that covers several northern Michigan counties: Crawford, Roscommon, Iosco, Arenac, Ogemaw and Oscoda.

According to 2019 data from the Michigan Methamphetamine Reporting Act, there were 3,108 meth arrests in Michigan that year — including delivery, possession and use — which was up 26% from the 2,469 arrests.

Only 1% of those arrests affected labs or manufacturing, according to the state police data.

"The flood of crystal meth in the Michigan drug market likely caused more people to become involved in meth use, possession, and distribution," the report read.