SFPD seizes fifteen times more cocaine in one night than what they are used to

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force is used to seizing about four pounds of cocaine in a year. But in a single night this week, the task force recovered fifteen times more than that.

Near the area of 12th and Kiwanis in Sioux Falls, detectives seized 62 pounds of cocaine Tuesday night. To give you an idea of just how significant it is, you just need to look back a couple of years.

If you add up all of the drug busts over the last five years, authorities have taken less than ten pounds of cocaine off the streets of Sioux Falls. The busiest year was in 2019, when authorities confiscated 4-and-a half pounds of the illegal drug.

“Having a really low number, you know, one to four pounds, and then go to sixty pounds is an incredible, high amount,” Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department said.

At this point, police don’t know if these packages were meant to stay in Sioux Falls or if they were just being transported through to a different location.

“We’ve seen that before where sometimes drugs end up in Sioux Falls, a portion of those are intended to stay here and then others will move on to other cities,” Clemens said.

Two men from Houston, Texas are behind bars, accused of bringing the drugs into South Dakota.
Bond for 34-year-old Lennin Parra and 29-year-old Isaias Santos is set at a half million dollars each.

Police say the investigation that led to the drug seizure started last year and continues today.

“It’s one thing to find the people that are transporting it, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the people that are responsible for those drugs,” Clemens said. “And so, there’s always kind of going up the chain to find out, you know, the bigger fish, so to speak. Who is the one that’s supplying it, who’s the one in charge?”

While this is a large amount of cocaine, police say they do not see this particular drug as a significant problem in the city.

Police say they haven’t seen an increase in cocaine-related arrests. Most of the problems they see involve meth, marijuana and fentanyl. Tallgrass Recovery in Sioux Falls also says they are not seeing a huge issue of cocaine addictions in the city. They say meth and alcoholism continue to be the major problems.

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