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Colorado State Patrol Highlights Smuggling, Trafficking and Interdiction Section’s Activity in 2021

The following is a news release from the Colorado State Patrol:

(COLORADO) – While ensuring lawful and safe activity on Colorado’s roadway, the Colorado State Patrol enlists specialty units that focus on the protection and safety of the people of Colorado in a variety of ways.

"The mission of our Smuggling, Trafficking, and Interdiction Section (STIS) is to relentlessly pursue those who transport illegal firearms, narcotics, illicit bulk US currency, and human trafficking victims on Colorado's highways,” said STIS Captain Bill Barkley of the Colorado State Patrol. “The pandemic has not slowed the massive amount of narcotics that are coming into our state every day to be distributed to cities all over Colorado. We are fighting this war on drugs every day in an attempt to dismantle drug trafficking organizations who are smuggling narcotics into our state. In order to do this, you must seize their deadly drugs and their illicit US currency to stop their operations. In 2021 seizures have taken nearly two tons of narcotics, 68 illegal firearms, and over 3.1 million in illicit US Currency.”

Although the total number of cases dropped 3% in 2021, down to 361 cases from 372 in 2020, the Colorado State Patrol’s STIS team actually seized more narcotics (weight – pounds) than any other year within a five year comparison period; most notable in these seizures were 1,434 pounds of Methamphetamine (291% increase) from 2020, and 151 pounds of Fentanyl powder (403% increase) from 2020 – not to mention the 13,842 fentanyl pills and other drug seizures.

The Colorado State Patrol’s STIS team also seized over $3 Million of illicit U.S. currency, up 16% from 2020 and 143% increase between 2017 and 2021. The 2021 currency seizures were a result of 53 loads, down from 65 loads in 2020. Simply put, that averages to over $59,000 per load in 2021 and approximately $17,500 more each load in 2021.

Within the STIS seizures, 174 of those seizures originated here in Colorado, and 205 seizures were destined for Colorado. Colorado was both the top state of origin and destination, followed by California.

Seizures destined for Colorado included:

  • 217 pounds of cocaine

  • $433,810 in illicit U.S. currency

  • 52 pounds of fentanyl

  • Ten (10) guns

  • 137 pounds of heroin

  • 56 pounds of cannabis

  • 681 pounds of methamphetamine

“Our ultimate mission is to save Coloradan lives from this poison that has already taken too many lives from addiction and overdoses. The STIS is dedicated every day to this mission,” said Captain Barkley


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