The Columbia River Drug Task Force (CRDTF) saw one of its busiest years for drug busts in Chelan and Douglas Counties last year.

In 2023, the CRDTF opened 119 new cases and made 104 total arrests.

Chief of Special Operations with the Chelan County Sheriff's Office, Ryan Moody, credits several factors for the uptick in activity.

"It was kind of a combination of the commitment of the detectives that we have assigned to that unit and the sheer prevalence of drugs and drug activity in the (Wenatchee) Valley. These are the main reasons for our success and the stats that we have for last year."


The task force seized over $76,000 in cash and $175,000 from bank accounts, along with 21 firearms, almost 5,500 grams of methamphetamine, and 750 grams of cocaine, last year. But Moody says there's still one narcotic that's driving a bulk of the illegal drug trade in North Central Washington.

"The numbers are definitely above and beyond where they were ten years ago and even five years ago, and most of that is a result of the increase in the use and accessibility of fentanyl here in the (Wenatchee) Valley. I would say roughly eighty percent of the drugs we see out there is fentanyl."

CRDTF turned up nearly 25,000 fentanyl pills, along with over 70 grams of pure fentanyl powder from dealers and users in 2023.


Other seizures included heroin, marijuana, and a variety of illicit prescription medications.

In addition to drug trafficking and use, the CRDTF also works cases involving firearms, gangs, violent crimes, and serial offenders.

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Top 6 Most Used Drugs In Montana

Drug use is on the rise throughout the United States and we see it more and more here in Montana.

You would think Marijuana would be number one, but considering it is now legal, the arrests are far fewer than they have been in the past years.

Here are the Top 6 Most Used Drugs In Montana.

Gallery Credit: megan shaul

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