Iowa Crime Lab sees sharp spike in drug submissions

    (MGN Online)

    Iowa law enforcement agencies are submitting far more drugs to the state crime lab for testing this year compared to 2016, especially methamphetamine and heroin.

    The Telegraph Herald reports that lab authorities say the increase in drug submissions has stretched resources, lengthened testing turnaround and created more overtime for staff.

    Lab administrators say the trend is "a little alarming."

    Over 300 pounds (136 kilograms) of meth have been submitted to the lab through October, compared to 181 pounds (82 kilograms) in 2016. Heroin collections have quadrupled over last year.

    Jackson County sheriff's officials say they've changed their approach to drug charges because of the state lab's backlog. Instead of immediately filing drug charges against a person, the sheriff's office now waits for lab results before filing charges.

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