Missoula Task Force tells Drug Dealers ‘We’re Coming After You’
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - A newly formed local Missoula law enforcement drug task force has been formed with a simple message for drug dealers; ‘We’re coming after you’.
KGVO hosted Lieutenant Sean Manraksa with the Missoula Police Department on Monday’s Talk Back program, and the message was clear that a new special task force has been formed to crack down on drug dealers in the city. Manraksa explained.
A Serious Conversation about Missoula's Growing Drug Problem
“Ever since taking over the Missoula Drug Task Force and becoming the Task Force Commander, I've looked at the trends and looked at what we've seen in Missoula,” began Manraksa. “I was a drug investigator previously a few years ago out at that same task force, and I noticed some things we could work on, and so I've assembled a fantastic team and got a lot of cooperation between the Missoula County Attorney's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office and all these different agencies that are assigned to the task force.”
Multiple Fentanyl Overdoses Sparked a Statewide Alert
After referencing a bulletin received last week from the Department of Criminal Investigation with the Montana Department of Justice about an alarming number of fatal fentanyl overdoses, Manraksa asked to come on Talk Back and share the goals and efforts of the Missoula Task Force to interdict drugs such as methamphetamine, fentanyl and a relatively new drug called Nitazine.
“We are aggressively prosecuting these cases,” he said. “We are relentless in our pursuit of these people that are dealing fentanyl and I mean we work a ton of overtime just to make sure the community is safe. I think our seizure stats speak for themselves in this first month.”
Manraksa appeared on Talk Back with a specific message to drug dealers in Missoula and throughout western Montana; ‘we are coming after you’.
'We are Relentlessly Pursuing Dealers of Death' in Missoula
“We are relentlessly pursuing dealers of death, these are people who are profiting off of pills that can kill, and then we are aggressively prosecuting,” he said. “We argued for high bonds in these recent cases. And I think it's a community message and needs to be a complete effort on the side of the entire criminal justice system. The judges, the prosecutors, the investigators, everybody needs to be on the same page and say, ‘We're not going to stand for this and if you are dealing in fentanyl pills or counterfeit fentanyl pills we're coming after you’.”
Lieutenant Manraksa was asked how the public in Missoula can assist his task force in its efforts to rid the community of the scourge of drugs such as meth, fentanyl, and now Nitazine.
“If you see something, say something,” he said. “We have different avenues. At the Missoula Police Department, we have online tips. Five Valley's Crimestoppers has the ability to report online, or just call in on some of the activity. I mean, we'll take a look at it if it amounts to something, then that could be the missing piece that we're looking for in the investigation into some of these drug trafficking organizations. So just report it and even if you think it's trivial, it might not be that trivial because we're the ones correlating and we're the focal point for a lot of that intelligence and information.”
The Missoula Police Department non-emergency line is 406-258-3452, or in an emergency, call 9-1-1 and your report will be taken seriously.
Click here to listen to the entire conversation with Lieutenant Manraksa.