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Feds Fight Flow of Illegal Drugs to St. Louis

"It is more casualties than were suffered during the Vietnam War, and the Iraq wars combined."

October 23, 2018 - 6:12 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - State and federal law enforcement release some staggering numbers on the death toll from illegal drugs in the area. 
 
With bagpipe music remincient of a funeral, the Drug Enforcment Adminstration opened its event to highlight the fight against illegal drugs.  

U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft of Southern Illinois says the death toll is considerable.
 
"In 2017, we lost 72,000 Americans to drug overdose death," he says. "It is more casualties than were suffered during the Vietnam War, and the Iraq wars combined."

That number includes 1,400 in Missouri. 

Special Agent in Charge William Callahan says the flow of illegal drugs is constant and through multiple means, including the highway system and through the mail.
 
"Certain drugs like your fentanyl, synthetic drugs are produced in a laboratory in China and Mexico, and they're being shipped here," he says.

St. Louis Police Chief Jon Hayden told that crowd that so far this year, the number of people killed in drug-related murders and overdoses combined comes to 250 deaths.

The DEA says it's stepping up prosecution, adding more agents and getting more federal funding to try to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the area.