Drug arrests increase in Brown County

File photo of marijuana.
File photo of marijuana.

Drug use and arrests appear to be on the rise in the area. The Brown County Drug Task Force released its latest numbers Tuesday.

In the past five years drug arrests have increased by 96 percent in Brown County, according to the Brown County Drug Task Force. And officials say marijuana is still the most popular drug.

"I can easily say that a million dollars of marijuana is coming into Brown County every month," said Lt. Dave Poteat, Brown County Drug Task Force.

Last year, officers seized more than 57 pounds of marijuana and 239 people were arrested for possession of the drug.

The task force says it's also concerned by the use of heroin and methamphetamine in the county. Last year alone, 99 people were arrested for distributing the drugs.

"Treatment options, I think, are more limited with meth which is a concern because you have a drug that's just as addictive. With heroin…fatal. There are too many people overdosing," said Tom Ritchie, clinical supervisor at Libertas Treatment Center.

Libertas is a treatment center in Green Bay. Clinical supervisor Tom Ritchie says he's seeing more heroin cases.

"We certainly have seen a big increase in the number of clients that have experimented with, that are using, that are addicted to heroin. That's been a sharp increase, I would say over the last several years," said Ritchie.

Officers say they're working to make it more difficult to buy, sell, and make drugs in the county.

"We've had a lot of cases, particularly dealing with heroin where people have agreed to make exchanges with us...where we can make purchases but they will not do it in Brown County they'll do it just outside of Brown County," said Lt. Poteat.

Potent says the task force has also seen the same trend with methamphetamine.

Brown County's Drug Task Force is made up of 22 members and this year they're operating on a nearly $2 million budget.