Canyon County sees big uptick in drug crimes

Canyon County sees big uptick in drug crimes

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - Idaho's drug crimes have gone up nearly nine-percent from 2012. One area that's seen a big increase in drug and narcotic violations is Canyon County.

By comparing Idaho State Police's Crime in Idaho reports from 2012 and 2013, KBOI found that in just that year, drug arrests rose 14-percent in Canyon County. 

State Police says part of the reason for the increase is that the amount of violent crimes across Idaho has gone down, and that leaves more time for detectives to spend finding and busting drug violators.

But ISP says the main reason for the boom in drug crimes is that there's more of a demand for hard drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin.

"We really can get a good gage on how many drugs are coming in just based on the street value and what the costs are," said Idaho State Police Captain Bill Gardiner. "Two years ago a pound of methamphetamine would cost anyone $18,000. We're now down to between $6,000 or $6,500 dollars, give or take a few, so that shows you the supply and demand shows that we have more drugs in our state, just based on that cost."

ISP says overuse and abuse of prescription drugs is becoming more of a problem for Idaho, and that's why many of the hard drugs are being used and trafficked more. ISP says heroin, in particular, is often easier to find and cheaper than some prescription drugs, and it gives a similar high.

Police say they've seen a big uptick in people driving impaired by drugs in the past few years.
Officers say they're called to Canyon County frequently to help with drug busts, often ones that are part of traffic stops.