Montana Attorney General Tim Fox's office hosted a training session on Wednesday for law enforcement officers and prosecutors on how to best build a strong investigation and successful prosecution of death cases resulting from overdoses of heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.

The training, in conjunction with the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, took place in Helena. Head of the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Brian Lockerbie greeted attendees with raw numbers.

"Our adversary only has one goal, and it’s not to make the world a better place,” Lockerbie began. “It’s about money, it’s about addiction and it’s about profit. One in four young adults in Montana has reported illicit drug use in the past month. We have the highest rate of suicide in the nation, and we have the second highest rate of alcohol related deaths. The meth we are seizing annually is in the multi-pound, and the marijuana we’re seizing is in the thousands of pounds.”

Attorney General spokesperson Anastasia Burton said there were attendees from across the state.

“We had county attorneys, undercover agents, coroners, a wide swath of stakeholders in Helena today,” she said. “We reached out to the folks at the national Association of Attorney’s General, and they came to Montana free of charge to provide the training. Anytime we can get together as law enforcement professionals to share best practices and community needs, we’re all better for it.”

Topics covered included gaining a better understanding about the various tactics and components of an overdose death investigation; witness interviews, the role of different agency partners, case development, and best practices for coordinating the sharing of information among local, state, and federal agencies.

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