State hands out grant money to combat drug trafficking

Published: Feb. 19, 2019 at 4:32 PM CST
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Wisconsin continues to battle an opioid epidemic, and meth use is on the rise. State grant funding is being handed out to local law enforcement agencies to combat drug trafficking.

A million dollars of funding, approved during the last legislative session to fight drug trafficking, is finally making its way to local law enforcement agencies.

State Attorney General Josh Kaul made the announcement at the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office. Fifty thousand dollars is being given to both the Manitowoc County Metro Drug Unit, as well as, the Lake Winnebago Area MEG unit, which includes law enforcement agencies in Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Outagamie, and Calumet counties.

According to Attorney General Josh Kaul, "We are committed to working together to dismantle drug trafficking conspiracies in Wisconsin, and I can tell you, my top priority when it comes to drug enforcement is going after distributors of opioids including heroin and fentanyl and going after distributors of meth."

The funding will help to pay for things like cars used in undercover operations and drug buys, as well as safety equipment for officers and deputies, and surveillance equipment that helps to crack cases.

"The ability to recover evidence and provide evidence to a prosecutor, such as video or audio transmissions, to help kind of connect those dots would be something that that technology is also advancing rapidly and to upgrade that equipment would be a tremendous help," says Special Agent Brian Liethen with the DOJ Division of Criminal Investigations.

And with different agencies working together, this funding can go a long way.

"This type of money doesn't come easy to a department our size and when you get involved in these types of investigations they're very labor intensive which costs a lot of money//working with the attorney general's office and getting these type of funds, especially for counties our size is really important," adds Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert.