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Task force reports record drug seizures in 2 counties

Task force reports record drug seizures in 2 counties



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OGDEN -- Police are reporting a record year in drug seizures in two Utah counties.

Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force Drug Lt. Darin Parke tells the Standard-Examiner of Ogden that about $3.8 million worth of drugs were seized in 2010.

Drugs seized
2007 -- $314,000
2010 -- $3.8 million

That's more than 10 times as much as the $314,000 worth of drugs confiscated in 2007.

An annual strike force report blames Mexican drug suppliers and Arizona's immigration law for a rise in the amount of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin in the area.

The task force tells the paper the Mexican drug cartels fled Arizona because of strict new immigration laws there. It says while only 12 percent of those arrested were illegal immigrants, that 12 percent was responsible for 80 percent of the drugs seized.

It says several top gang leaders are now in custody or prison.

The task force busted only one meth lab last year. Investigators say meth cooks increasingly are turning to the "shake and bake" method, meaning they use a 2-liter bottle to mix chemicals. It produces smaller quantities but is easier to keep hidden.

The report says two new drugs emerged last year. One is the controversial marijuana substitute spice. The other is a legal bath salt product.

Republican state Rep. Gage Froerer of Ogden is sponsoring legislation to outlaw spice and bath salts.

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Story written by The Associated Press with contributions from Andrew Adams.

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