Fentanyl from the southern border is flooding the state of Montana and the number of arrests has exploded in the last 18 months.

Those are statistics provided by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen that he shared with KGVO listeners on the Friday Talk Back Program.

“Last year, in 2021, the Montana Highway Patrol seized 3,800 fentanyl tablets,” began Knudsen. “Guys, this year is 2022, and it's only it's only April. We're four months in and the Montana Highway Patrol has already seized over 12,000 fentanyl tablets this year. That’s 12,000 fentanyl tablets on Montana highways in three months, and those are just the numbers through March.”

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Arrests are one thing, but fentanyl related deaths are also exploding in Montana. Knudsen provided those numbers.

“Let's talk about how many fentanyl related deaths there are in our state,” he said. “The State Crime Lab, which I'm in charge of, says there has been a 113 percent increase in fentanyl deaths in Montana in 2020 and 2021. This is the scope of the problem we're dealing with. We're coming up with thousands of fentanyl tablets in single stops. How many of them are we missing? How many of them are actually getting through our dragnets and making it into our towns and making into our communities and our streets?”

Knudsen said complicating the issue is what happens when arrests are made and the judicial system fails to act? He calls it ‘a judge problem’.

“That gets us to our judge problem,” he said. “I talk about this one a lot, and we've got a serious judge problem in this state. We seem to have, for the for the most part, a judiciary that doesn't believe that punishing criminals solves the problem. They'd rather put these people in treatment which frankly, most of them laugh at. And I say that as a guy who's actually been on the other side of that. I've tried to prosecute these folks before.”

Knudsen also addressed a Second Amendment issue the state has become involved with.

“There was a lawsuit filed by the Gun Owners of America, he said. “I'm leading 21 other states. We've filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court, asking them not to uphold the Sixth Circuit, because the Sixth Circuit actually slapped down ATF and said this was an overreach. So we're asking the court to uphold that. That's one of the first big things on the Second Amendment front.”

Knudsen told KGVO News that he enjoys the give and take when taking live calls from listeners on the Talk Back show.

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