Texas DPS seized $55 million worth of drugs in 2013 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas DPS seized $55 million worth of drugs in 2013

Sgt. Bryan Witt with Texas DPS Sgt. Bryan Witt with Texas DPS

It may just look like a highway to you, but Texas Department of Public Safety troopers see it as an escape route.

"The one common factor that all criminals have to do at some time is get in the vehicle and drive," said Sgt. Bryan Witt with Texas DPS.

DPS has recently expanded their training efforts to crack down on criminal activity on Texas highways.

KCBD wanted to know just how busy the Lubbock region has been compared to previous years.

Lubbock falls under Region 5. Other major cities in the region include Amarillo, Abilene and Wichita Falls.

Witt says there has been an influx in arrests recently because of more advanced training for troopers.

"Currently we're all going through training on the recovery of missing children and exploited children and how to recognize that during traffic stops," Witt said.

That's the mentality Witt says more and more troopers are taking on when they hit the roads.

"A lot of people think we are just out writing tickets or we're out working crashes. Well these troopers who get out every day, they're investigating. They're investigating traffic stops and they're taking it to the next level, which result in big seizures sometimes," he said.

Witt says the total dollar amount in drug seizures in 2013 increased more than 50 percent from 2012.

In 2012, Texas Highway Patrol seized more than $35 million worth of drugs in our region alone. In 2013 that number increased to $55 million.

"You look at numbers, how many seizures we got. But just think about how many doses of meth, heroin, marijuana that we prevented getting into the hands of our children," Witt said.

Witt says that advanced training - training DPS troopers to think like investigators - is the key to keeping our roadways safer.

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