Montana law enforcement scored a major victory in their ongoing battle against drug trafficking. In a collaborative effort, multiple agencies dismantled a massive drug operation, resulting in the largest drug bust ever recorded in the state's history.

In 2022, a massive drug bust in Montana resulted in the federal convictions of 22 people, according to a press release from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The drug trafficking organization reportedly had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel out of Mexico.

Drugs and Money

What is the Largest Drug Bust in the History of Montana?

The network is responsible for bringing more than 2,043 pounds of meth and 722,000 fentanyl-laced pills from Mexico to Butte for redistribution, with $2.98 million laundered in drug proceeds.  During the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized 65 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 2,000 counterfeit oxycontin pills containing fentanyl and three pounds of heroin and seized $32,875 in cash and 19 firearms.

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The investigation began with a tip about a suspicious package which eventually led to the conviction of 22 individuals, according to court documents. Illegal drugs including methamphetamine and fentanyl have done irreparable harm to Montana's Native American communities and reservations.

There’s no question that Mexico is the source of illegal drugs pouring into our state. These cases – which are the culmination of years of investigative and prosecutorial work – put that to rest

said Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

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The operation smuggled drugs from Mexico to stash houses in Southern California, then transported the drugs by vehicle and through the mail to Butte. After arriving in  Butte, local dealers transported the drugs to Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, Bozeman, Billings and Wolf Point for street-level distribution. For more information about the largest drug bust in Montana history, click here.

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

Californians: What To Know When Moving to Montana

If you're moving to Montana from California, here are a few things that might make you rethink your decision.

Gallery Credit: Jesse James