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Illegal narcotics epidemic shows no sign of slowing down


The illegal narcotics epidemic shows no sign of slowing down, but neither are the efforts of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, including the operations of the Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) and the YCSO K9 Interdiction Division. The two units have removed hundreds of pounds of narcotics off the streets of not only Yavapai County, but also from other parts of the State and Country where many of the drugs were headed.  

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PANT, the multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction taskforce with representatives from the Yavapai County  Sheriff’s Office, Prescott Police Department, Prescott Valley Police Department, Chino Valley,  Cottonwood and Sedona, have continued to seize dangerous drugs, including the endemic fentanyl pills that threaten the lives of so many. The taskforce is made up of specifically trained detectives, K9 teams  and overdose investigators. To date in 2022, PANT has investigated 116 overdose cases, 39 of which were fatal. 

The YCSO K9 Interdiction Team conducts proactive enforcement on the main throughfares in the area attempting to disrupt criminal organizations transporting drugs, guns, money and people through  Yavapai County. This past Monday evening, a K9 unit stopped a vehicle with Texas license plates, where  5 pounds of Meth, 120,000 Fentanyl pills, and 2 pounds of cocaine were located, and this has become a  regular occurrence.  

This year to date, YCSO has seized: 

• 15.82 lbs. of cocaine 

• 8 grams of heroin 

• 118 lbs. of methamphetamines 

• 518 lbs. of black-market marijuana and 180 black-market marijuana plants  • 219.63 lbs. or 878,520 fentanyl pills 

New Concerns Arise Regularly in the Drug Trade 

Just this week, the Phoenix Police Department released information about a new colorful looking fentanyl pill that has invaded communities. Fentanyl, the aptly named “one-pill kill” drug has overtaken many other drugs as the number one source of overdose cases, and with Halloween approaching, YCSO  is warning parents and kids to watch out for these pills that look like candy. 

There is also a grave concern for the tactics of the drug cartels who are luring teenagers on social media to become unwitting drug and human smugglers by offering thousands of dollars for teenagers to “just give a ride” to someone they pick up at a random location. Law enforcement urges teenagers and adults alike to not engage with these seemingly “easy money” schemes, not only for your safety, but because there are criminal consequences even if you aren’t aware of what you are getting into. 

“These statistics are shocking and signify many things” said Sheriff David Rhodes. “They signify that no community in this nation is immune from dangerous drugs coming through our southern border, from the organized criminal organizations that bring them here, or from the death and destruction of lives left in their wake. However, more importantly, these statistics demonstrate the resolve of Yavapai County Law Enforcement to continuing fighting and never giving up on keeping the public safe.” 


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