Des Moines, Iowa – Governor Kim Reynolds says one of the main reasons why she visited the border is because of the illegal drugs that are smuggled through Mexico and into Iowa.
Last week a narcotics team in Des Moines seized over 25 pounds of methamphetamine along with $50,000. The individual claimed that they got the illegal drugs by crossing the border to Mexico.
“What we learned in that case is that the drug dealers up here are able to get it from the cartel down there at the border and bring it back up here and sell it for twice the investment they are making,” Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said.
Parizek also highlighted that this specific seizure was more than what was seized in the city in all of 2020.
“When you look at the seizures of 2020 they were very low, 21 pounds, most likely being impacted by the border’s being closed and COVID,” Parizek said. Comparing the statistics from 2020 to 2021 is skewed due to the pandemic, but still the Iowa State Patrol is reporting big percentage increases in seizures in fentanyl and meth.
According to the State Patrol, officers seized 3,390 grams of fentanyl from January to September of 2020. In 2021 in the same time period there has been 6,681 grams seized for a 70% increase. As for meth, officers seized 78,234 grams from January to September of 2020. And for 2021 there were 173,890 grams in the same time frame, which is a 122% increase. The Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy said that there has been a shift from producing drugs in the state to outsourcing them.
“We only had nine labs (in the state) last year so the void in methamphetamine to meet that demand, is a rather heavy demand,” Director Dale Woolery said. “Someone is making that up and that void is being made up by cartels in Mexico who make the methamphetamine and ship it into the U.S. and a lot of it lands here in Iowa.”
Woolery believes the statistics show most of the meth in the state is coming from south of the border. As for fentanyl, it can come from Mexico and other places including Asia. The increase in fentanyl-related opioid overdoses concerns both Parizek and Woolery.