Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On June 18, 2024, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced that anti-drug task forces in Montana seized 150 percent more fentanyl in the first quarter of 2024 than during the first quarter of 2023. 

Through the first quarter of 2024, Knudsen said Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) task forces seized a total of 163,184 dosage units of fentanyl in Montana compared to 65,142 during the same time in 2023. In 2023, 398,000 dosage units were seized. In 2022, 188,823 dosage units were seized. In 2021, 60,557 dosage units were seized. 

Knudsen said these quantities are from the six RMHIDTA Montana task forces, which include the Montana Department of Justice’s narcotics bureau and Montana Highway Patrol criminal interdiction teams. Knudsen added that these are not all-inclusive of drugs seized by all law enforcement in the state. MHP also recently trained three of its drug-detecting canines to detect fentanyl. 

The State Crime Lab preliminarily reported 22 overdose deaths involving fentanyl so far this year. In 2023, there were 80 deaths. However, this number does not reflect the entire statewide total, as the crime lab only verifies deaths that involve an autopsy. 


“We’re on pace to far surpass last year’s record-shattering number of fentanyl seizures,” Knudsen said. “While I’m glad anti-drug task forces are successfully taking fentanyl off the street, it means more of this poison is making its way across the southern border and into Montana where it’s killing men, women, and children. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight this battle in Montana and urge President Biden to secure the border.” 

During the first quarter of the year, the task forces also seized 31.7 pounds of cocaine, 129.33 pounds of methamphetamine, and 116 weapons. From January 1 through June 4, MHP reports seizing 31,000 fentanyl pills, nine firearms, 87.6 pounds of methamphetamine, and $89,000. 

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Gallery Credit: Jessica Poxson

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