Addressing the Senate Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday, Wisconsin Sheriff Eric Severson advised them that President Trump has it right: the greatest tool in fighting drug addiction and illegal trafficking is a secure southern border.
“One of the things that concern me is that we focus our attention in the community, and ignore what’s happening at the border,” Severson told the committee. “It makes no sense to me to have someone working at home plate and no one working around the diamond trying to help us control the influx of controlled substances.”
The Sheriff went on to add “If we can seize large quantities at the border, that’s going to, in my opinion, have more impact in the local communities. The lion’s share of the controlled substances consumed in southeast Wisconsin is sourced from south of the border.”
Sheriff Severson’s statements echo moments from President Trump’s congressional address Tuesday evening.
“We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross, and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate,” said the President. “My administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security.”
In testimony to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs panel, Severson said that in the past decade, 387 people have died in Waukesha County due to drug overdoses.
“Last year alone we experienced over 35 drug-related deaths,” Severson said. “One-third of that total involved heroin.” In addition, Severson said Waukesha County sheriff’s deputies administered Narcan 21 times last year to save 17 lives.
“Heroin consumed in my community was transported through the southern border, in its entirety. Today, Mexican drug cartels are growing poppy plants, to manufacture locally produced heroin, making Mexico a source country for heroin,” he said in his written testimony.
“Methamphetamine is an emerging drug threat,” Severson said, with 95% of the product in Wisconsin coming from Mexico.
Severson said drug enforcement officers face “the dangerous realities of the drug trade,” including the “growing use of mobile drug house crews,” who sell heroin from stolen vehicles.
Severson said “criminal offenses by foreign nationals” happens “relatively” infrequently within Waukesha County.
But such events do occur in Wisconsin, he said, citing several cases.
Those cases include a drug trafficking organization that involved at least two undocumented Mexican nationals where 15 kilograms of cocaine was seized; and another case where several undocumented Mexican nationals attempted to illegally sell firearms to undercover agents. He said there was a recent 25 kilogram seizure of methamphetamine that resulted in the arrest of several undocumented Mexican nationals in southeastern Wisconsin.
Much of what the Wisconsin sheriff called for to address these issues was addressed in an executive order by President Trump weeks ago. This includes the securing of the nation’s border and increased hiring of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officers.
“Greater security at our nation’s borders means fewer law enforcement challenges to non-border communities.”
The logic is simple: lower the amount of illegal drugs entering the United States, and you’ll have less drugs in the United States.