Drug cartels targeting children in New Hampshire, law enforcement officials say – WMUR Manchester

U.S. Senate holds field hearing in New Hampshire
U.S. Senate holds field hearing in New Hampshire
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U.S. Senate holds field hearing in New Hampshire
Law enforcement officials testified Monday at a rare U.S. Senate field hearing in New Hampshire that Mexican drug cartels are targeting children.

Officials said the flow of deadly, addictive drugs into New Hampshire continues to pose a challenge.
“It was really the influx of pills laced with methamphetamine targeting children to look exactly like an Adderall that I thought was just an insidious move on the part of drug cartels to target young Americans,” said Jon DeLena, Drug Enforcement Administration deputy special agent in charge.
DeLena testified Monday that illicit fentanyl is devastating New Hampshire, and the DEA is now seeing methamphetamine coming in at an alarming rate from Mexico and China.
“The ruthlessness of these cartels, combined with the callous greed, is destroying families and communities, resulting in an increase in violence and crime here in the Granite State and across the country,” he said.
Elected and law enforcement officials said the old model of incarceration and confiscation is not the way out of this modern drug war. They said a critical component now is reducing demand, and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-New Hampshire said that starts with access to treatment.
“The Medicaid inmate exclusion is a draconian policy that hurts those with substance use disorder, mental illness and trauma who cycle in and out of our justice system,” she said.
The race for funding to keep up with the agility of drug cartels that are not bound by rules or budgets is an ongoing struggle, said U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire.
“We just have to keep at this with everything we’ve got,” Hassan said. “You all are on the front lines, and so are the men and women that you lead, and we are very grateful to all of you.”
Law enforcement officials said more funding is needed for field testing equipment and personnel, along with continued congressional support.
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