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Feds: 17 arrested in crackdown on methamphetamine, violent crime in Montana

May 1, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Feds: 17 arrested in crackdown on  methamphetamine, violent crime in Montana U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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Federal authorities say 17 people have been arrested on drug and gun charges in an effort targeting an increase in violent crime across southeastern Montana spurred by the widespread use of methamphetamine.

According to a KFBB, the takedown was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is a collaborative effort launched in March with state prosecutors aimed at reducing violent crime in Yellowstone County.

U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said Monday that all but three of the defendants have appeared in court on charges including drug trafficking, illegal weapons offenses, and robbery.

“In addition to violent crime, meth is causing our jails to fill, overwhelming our foster care system, overcrowding our treatment facilities, burdening our hospitals, and leaving many in our community with little more than addiction,” Alme said.

Authorities say a 75 percent increase in violent crime in Billings since 2010 has largely been driven by the rising use of methamphetamine.

Attorney General Tim Fox added that the law enforcement efforts would be coupled with treatment for individuals battling meth addiction.

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