Iowa Guard helps seize $63 million in illegal drugs

DES MOINES — The Iowa National Guard helped seize illegal drugs that were worth tens of millions of dollars in 2018.

“More than one pound of fentanyl, which equates to more than 180,000 fatal doses, and nearly 15 pounds of heroin, were seized and taken off the street in Iowa and in 2018, more than $63 million in drugs and $3.5 million in cash and assets were seized from drug dealers in Iowa with the assistance of the Iowa National Guard’s Counterdrug program,” Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Timothy Orr said in his annual “Condition of the Guard” address.

That’s a $20 million increase in drug seizures by Iowa Guard soldiers compared to the previous year. The federally-funded “Midwest Counter Drug Training Center” is located at Camp Dodge in Johnston. Local law enforcement officials can get training at the center at no cost to the agencies where they work.

“In 2018, the Counterdrug program trained 824 law enforcement officers across the state to properly administer Narcan, the antidote for opioid overdoses,” Orr said.

Narcan is the brand name for Naloxone. An injection of Naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose in as quickly as two to five minutes. Training is key, however, as some opioid users require more than one injection of Naloxone to reverse an overdose.