One drug bust, or even a string of drug busts, is a moment members of the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force look forward to, but even with that success, it is only one piece of a larger battle.
"This task force is developed with different agencies involved to help combat drugs in general, but one of the main focuses, obviously is the problem with methamphetamines in the community," Captain Paul Niedringhaus said.
With every drug bust, with every drug dealer put behind bars, the work of the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force is on display. Captain Paul Niedringhaus and the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office is just one part within the task force, and he says the battle against drugs is never-ending.
"The numbers are steadily increasing, we've seen an increase, but it's not to the point where we think that it's out of hand, but it's something that we do have to stay on top of," Niedringhaus said.
A major challenge for the task force is trying to figure out what crimes are actually connected to drugs, because Captain Niedringhaus says the lines are not as clear as they used to be.
"What we do see is the drugs going into different crimes. You see it in robberies, you see it in the burglaries. You look at, most recently, a recent homicide in Sioux Falls with the LeBeau homicide, that drugs were a big part of that," Niedringhaus said.
While dealing with a situation involving drugs can be very dangerous, he adds that public tips through Crime Stoppers can go a long way in helping the task force in their mission of bringing down the use of drugs like meth in the community.
"It goes back to the collaboration that we have set, where you get the federal state and locals working together. We have seen good results and I think by these results and the collaboration, we're making a big impact," Niedringhaus said.
Captain Niedringhaus also applauds the efforts at the state capitol in helping their task force by keeping a close record of pseudoephedrine sales.