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Drug Crimes: Local Counties Reporting Mixed Trends

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By Brittany Cooper

Magic Valley, Idaho ( KMVT- TV / KTWT-TV ) Drug crimes can be found all across the Gem State, yet two neighboring communities are reporting different trends. Twin Falls County is seeing a decrease in drug–related cases while Jerome reports an increase.

We looked at data from the past two years to find these results.

Capt. Jack Johnson, Jerome County Sheriff's Office says, "we've definitely continued to have more drugs coming into our communities, not just in the Magic Valley, in Idaho period."

Jerome County reported an 8.5% increase in the past year for drugs and paraphernalia. Between March of 2011 and March 2012, the agency reported 217 drug–related cases. That's jumped to 254 in same time period.

"We've stepped up enforcement action on traffic stops, try to conduct a little more investigation on traffic stops," adds Johnson.

Meanwhile Twin Falls is seeing differently. From March 2011 to March 2012, Twin Falls County recorded 165 drug–related cases in the following year, that number decreased to 136.

Staff Sgt. Dan Thom of Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office says, "we're down just a little bit, probably 5–6% from arrests, previous march to march. We're still pretty high with marijuana arrests, 41 this year and there was 50 last year during the same time."

Marijuana tends to be the most common in Jerome and Twin Falls counties. Both counties agree the legalization of marijuana in states such as Washington may play a factor.

Thom suggests, "we're seeing a lot more people coming through the state with marijuana from California, Washington and Colorado believing that they bought it legally, it's ok to have it here."

Nevertheless, Thom's concern is safety. When someone under the influence of marijuana gets behind the wheel, their driving ability mirrors a drunk driver.

Other notable facts from this past year: Twin Falls County reported 70 violations of paraphernalia and 31 violations of methamphetamine possession.



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