Jackson PD: There are more drugs in Jackson than you think

(Jackson, Wyo.) - In the wake of multiple heroin arrests in the last month, Buckrail met with the local Jackson Police Department to see how serious the drug problem is here in Jackson. According to Lt. Cole Nethercott of the Jackson Police Department, there is a bigger drug problem in this town than most people think and the nature of our tight-knit community makes it challenging for law enforcement to catch drug dealers. "Since Jackson is such a small community, working narcotics cases for law enforcement is difficult," said Cpl. Roger Schultz of the Jackson Police Department. "Because what you need to work cases is people willing to give information about narcotics, and even in some cases do controlled buys for the police department. Word gets around quickly, and if you are eventually identified as being the snitch, you are ostracized in large segments of the community and it becomes extremely uncomfortable. So finding those people who are willing to cooperate with law enforcement is few and far between." In the last month, thanks to local intel, the Jackson PD has arrested a heroin dealer, a marijuana dealer and a magic mushroom dealer. This sounds big for a small town, but Lt. Nethercott says that this is just the tip of the iceberg. "For the marijuana, we didn't even make a dent. There are a lot of people dealing marijuana around here," said Lt. Nethercott. "I think we probably affected the heroin trade, but as soon as you take someone out, someone else fills the void." The Jackson Police Department says that their most common drug citation and arrest is for marijuana, and the other major drugs tie for second. Two drugs that are recently growing in popularity are prescription drugs and heroin. "One of the largest problems that we have had in this community recently is prescription drugs," said Lt. Nethercott. "And the people who are on prescription drugs are the same people who tend to go towards heroin because it is the same base drug. Heroin is cheaper and it is easier to get." Local law enforcement has known that heroin has been in Jackson in the last few years due to information that they have received from local medical professionals. "I would say there is much more of it [heroin] than you think there is," said Lt. Nethercott. "In the last two years, we have had one overdose with heroin, one overdose with methadone and one person crash into a building due to heroin," said Cpl. Schultz. "It is increasing that we are finding people with needles now. The department is ordering everybody sharps gloves, because they are searching people and finding needles," Lt. Nethercott added. Meth is one drug that isn't as common in Jackson as it is in the rest of the state. "Rarely do you see us pull meth off the street, although it does happen on occasion," said Cpl. Schultz. Here is the number of approximate drug arrests and citations between March 2011 and March 2016: - Marijuana: 234 - Cocaine: 24 - Prescription medications: 18 - Meth: 14 - Heroin: 2 "These numbers aren’t exact," said Cpl. Schulz. "The police department doesn’t charge by specific kind of drugs in some cases. It actually gets charged by what form and quantity it’s in. For example, Heroin, Meth, and cocaine could be charged under the same statute and under the same section. The heroin number seems low, but I know there are a couple of charges pending with no arrests yet." The overarching trend is that drugs are an increasing problem in Jackson. "When I started almost 20 years ago, we probably ran into drugs here and there every month. Now it is a weekly and almost a daily thing, so it has definitely increased," said Lt. Nethercott. "I think it's important the community realizes that it is here. Part of keeping people safe is educating them on the fact that it [drugs like heroin] does happen here," he added. *Feature Photo: h/t Pixabay / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news