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DA pleads for more funds to fight meth epidemic

A backlog of criminal cases – most of it due to arrests for methamphetamine – prompted the district attorney to seek more employees for an already cramped office.

District Attorney Chris Dennis told county commissioners Tuesday that he could use two assistants and another full-time secretary to meet the crush of paperwork.

‘Violent crime is down. Crime, crime is up,’ Dennis said. ‘It’s a combination of meth and the crimes that follow it, robberies and stolen checks. Seventy-five percent of the growth in my job is to be blamed on meth.’

The prosecutor has a docket of about 250 individual cases at any time, adding that he could easily indict dozens of people at any time.

The backlog of cases means that he cannot easily investigate some current white collar crime cases in the oil industry.

‘We don’t have the time or manpower to do them,î he said. ìIíd like to help them.’

Dennis said some legislative changes have doubled the paperwork requirements for his secretary.

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