Presque Isle sees increase in drug offenses

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 10:22 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Presque Isle Police Chief Laurie Kelly says drug offenses make up about 15-20% of crime in the city. In the first six months of last year Presque Isle had 19 arrests for possession or trafficking of drugs. In the same time span this year, they made 29 arrests. While ten more cases doesn’t sound like a lot, in Presque Isle that amounts to a 52% increase.

“Frankly, as people get charged with it, your lesser players, or dealers if you will, are willing to step up to the plate and fill in the supply and demand,” said Chief Kelly.

Chief kelly says the big three drugs are meth and heroin, as well as fentanyl, which is commonly used to lace the other two drugs. Chief Kelly says while many of the drugs come across national and state borders, the dealers are usually county locals

She says at least one cause for the increase in offenses was probably the pandemic climate.

“Things looked different as far as enforcement so people were homebound it was easy to do, easy to distribute.”

Chief Kelly says they know who many of the regular dealers in the area are. She added that they work with other departments and agencies, as well as their own k9 unit, to monitor the problem. But bringing charges is not a quick process

“Sometimes it seems like it takes a long time between the information stage and [actual] charges if it does come down... Testing is not like a tv show we don’t get DNA and drug results in 30 min with commercials "

Chief Kelly says if you see  suspicious activity in your area, don’t hesitate to report it.

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