Drug team meth busts in Klamath County

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Drug teams in Klamath County have kept more than 12 pounds of meth from hitting the street this week.

Members of the Basin Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, or BINET, seized 8 pounds of meth on Saturday, and 4 pounds of meth on Monday.

“When they make a significant arrest like this, it does put a dent in the flow of drugs into town,” said Klamath Falls Police Chief Dave Henslee. “And that helps us out.”

In 2019, BINET seized 76 pounds of methamphetamine and made 97 arrests.

Chief Henslee said it all boils down to basic detective work.  “They use informants,” he explained, “they use intel that they gather from the streets, surveillance operations, they’re just out working the streets.”

Henslee said most of the meth comes into Klamath County on Highway 97. “Nowadays, the methamphetamine that’s coming into Klamath Falls is coming out of superlabs in Mexico.”

The drug dealers tend to be well-armed.

“There’s much more danger involved with working on a drug team than with working patrol,” Henslee said. Though he added “The difference is, that those detectives who serve on BINET know what they’re getting into, and they have time to plan operations, so they get to mitigate a lot of that danger. Patrol officers, they don’t know who they’re contacting.”

Henslee said the war on drugs is a difficult battle to win. “As soon as we arrest somebody for moving a significant amount of methamphetamine into a community, somebody else will step up and take their place.”

Despite the challenges, Chief Henslee said more drug arrests are likely. “I anticipate several more in the future.”

The BINET team is composed of detectives from the Klamath Falls Police Department, the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon State Police, and even an analyst from the Oregon National Guard.

The team works closely with Homeland Security, the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and agencies in neighboring counties.

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