MART (December 3, 2012) - Authorities in the small town of Mart are sharpening their drug enforcement tactics after seizing more marijuana in 2012 than both 2010 and 2011 combined.
Many might call it a drug problem, but Chief of Police David Monthey calls it a challenge.
"Marijuana has always been present in Mart, but it's never been this prevalent," Monthey said.
"We're upset to know that it is here in the town, but we remain positive knowing we're making a dent in seizures."
Mart has a population of less than 3,000 people and its police department only has four officers, so it was unusual when Monthey noticed growth in marijuana trafficking within city limits.
In the last month the department has seized $5,000 worth of marijuana, which is typically the amount seized in eight or nine months.
"The increase has gone up by around 40% from what we saw in both last year and the year before combined," Monthey said.
Due to packaging consistency from recent marijuana seizures, Monthey feels a supplier has set up shop in Mart.
"Normally you see it being packaged in different bags, different containers," Monthey said.
"But most of our marijuana seizures are packaged in a similar fashion, so we're under the impression it's coming from one individual in the area."
Monthey feels that recent seizure numbers don't reflect a marijuana problem, but rather a success for his officers who have stepped up their drug efforts.
"You can never stop crime, but you can deter it. We're hitting their pocket books when we take it off the streets," Monthey said.
As the Mart Police Department continues to advance their war on drugs, Monthey believes other crimes will begin to decrease in the area.
"It's our way of cutting off the snake's head," Monthey said.
"If we can put a thumb down on them, our firm belief is they will find somewhere else to sell their drugs and take it out of Mart."