US Attorney says MT short of investigators for drug trafficking

Montana needs more investigators to address drug trafficking, according to U.S. Attorney for Montana Jesse Laslovich. 

“Our main issue, at least for me, is that we need more boots on the ground for investigating cases,” Laslovich told the audience at City Club Missoula Monday. He and Missoula Police Chief Michael Colyer discussed the impact of drug crimes on Montana with a special emphasis on fentanyl. 

Laslovich said the Bureau of Indian Affairs is currently “grossly underfunded” without enough agents to serve Montana’s tribal reservations.

“Do you think these sophisticated drug traffickers know that there aren’t a lot of law enforcement resources on reservations? They do,” Laslovich said. “So it’s not a coincidence that a lot of those DTOs (drug trafficking organizations) are in Indian Country, because we don’t have a law enforcement presence there, or at least not a significant presence.”

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Colyer said his department has funding shortfalls around keeping its technology up-to-date. Colyer said it is very time-intensive and labor-demanding to just access and collect data.

“Technology is just huge,” Colyer said. “We are constantly working phones and that type of stuff so staying up on the ability to investigate that

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