As Mankato grows, so do drug crimes.

Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott says methamphetamine continues to be the drug of choice in the area.

“We don’t see the labs anymore. But the issue is supply and demand. You can go back to fifteen years ago and a pound of meth might cost ten twelve-thousand dollars. Today, because it’s flooded in the market with the cartel coming up from Mexico and other areas, that same pound of meth will cost maybe two, three-thousand dollars on the street. So, it’s readily available.”

Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott

Data from the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force shows that methamphetamine cases are up in the first half of 2018 at 56, an increase from 32 crimes during the same timeframe in 2017.

“First of all, people are selling, they’re using or it’s a combination of both. They’re selling to be able to support their habit. We do see there’s a string of burglaries every once and a while and there’s a string of thefts ever once and a while. That’s a lot of times, people are simply trying to get money, do whatever they can do to support their habit.”

Another drug trend is the use of opioids, which McDermott says the area has not seen the problem like other parts of the state.

“It’s here. We deal with it. The Drug Task Force deals with. It’s not that prevalent comparatively to some of the other things. Especially now when they’ve kind of, I think the medical providers over the years have gone away from just so readily prescribing some of these medications. Because it was just too easy to say, here, take a pill and this will help you.”

Prescription cases are up slightly from the same time period last year at 26, there were 24 at this point in 2017.