Sioux Falls, SD
Authorities are calling it the deadliest drug crisis in U.S. history.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death in people who are under the age of 50. The numbers are climbing in KELOLAND.
In 2016, 67 South Dakotans died of drug overdoses. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, more than half of those deaths involved opioids.
Last year in Minnehaha County alone, 10 people died of opiate-related overdoses. Officials are expecting the number to be even higher this year. There have been at least three heroin or fentanyl-related deaths in Sioux Falls in the last month.
South Dakota's U.S. Attorney wants to turn those numbers around so he's sending a message to anyone even considering selling drugs.
"We are going to come look for you. You will be arrested. You will be charged and you will be held accountable," U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons said.
That's already happening.
Just last week, a federal grand jury decided there is enough evidence to charge an Illinois woman for her role in a South Dakota overdose death.
Authorities say Stephanie Broecker mailed the drugs that killed a 30-year old Miner County man.
She'll be brought to South Dakota to go on trial. If found guilty, she faces a minimum of 20 years behind bars.
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