Carfentanil found in Fremont County; SPD chief says ‘we’re going to go after it’

    The Shoshoni Police Department recorded a “fairly significant increase” in calls related to controlled substances and intoxicated driving in 2023, SPD chief Chris Konija said during a Shoshoni Town Council meeting last week.

    The agency’s annual report for 2023 shows the SPD responded to 22 calls related to driving under the influence last year – up from 14 in 2022.

    The SPD also conducted 13 drug searches in 2023, the report states – up from seven in 2022 – and officers responded to 19 calls related to controlled substances in 2023, up from 11 in 2022.


    Konija said the increase in calls related to substance abuse is “partially due” to the “dedication” local officers have shown “to addressing those issues” in Shoshoni.

    “And we’re going to continue addressing those issues, (so) those numbers will probably go up – because we’re looking for it,” he said. “We’re trying (to) make a point of trying to get these people off the road and hopefully impact and save lives. … And I think we are definitely showing results.”


    The enforcement effort is “vitally important,” Konija continued, noting that officers are now finding carfentanil – a drug that is “100 times more potent than fentanyl – in Fremont County.

    He explained that motorists carrying illegal substances often travel through Shoshoni to avoid the “massive” law enforcement presence on interstate highways, “so it does come through here,” and “it gets into our communities.”


    “(It’s) important that we do everything in our power to … keep it out of our community, and that is our No. 1 goal,” Konija said. “We’re going after it. We’re trying to make an impact.”


    Increased officer visibility also deters crime, Konija said, pointing to other call totals in the annual report that have gone down since 2022.

    “A lot of those involve property crimes,” Konija said. “We’re seeing a decrease in theft, vandalism, intoxicated pedestrians (and) tobacco usage at school.”


    Overall, he said, calls for service in 2023 were up about 16 percent from the previous year, but he added that “a lot of this is self-initiated calls, not necessarily more people calling 911 or calling the police department.”

    “(We’re) detecting it and self-initiating these types of things, which again has a deterrent effect,” Konija said. “(We’ve) done a good job as a police department focusing on these areas, and we’ll continue to focus on those core areas.”

    For more information, call the Town of Shoshoni at (307) 876-2515.


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