DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – A rather alarming increase in the amount of illicit drugs being found in Morgan County has the Sheriff’s Office concerned with cartel activity.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office says meth is the leading illegal drug found in the area followed by cocaine and heroin. 98% of the meth seized is connected to a cartel or larger operation.

The most recent case in the circuit court involved a California-to-Decatur drug connection.

Although these drugs are not manufactured in the county, the department is left dealing with the “problems that come with drug addiction”.

Mike Swafford with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office explained those problems range from drug addiction, homelessness, property crimes, mental health issues and other phases of operation the department deals with.

Swafford also says the Narcotics Unit is seeing an increase in the number of drugs being taken off the streets.

“Two years ago, we would seize it in grams and ounces. Now we’re in pounds and kilos. When you’re able to come across drugs in that quantity, it’s coming from a larger operation. So, that naturally leads you to the cartels,” Swafford told News 19.

Profits from these drugs are believed to be cycled back into the controlling party and used to fund other illegal activities and trafficking.

As a “consumer” area, Swafford says the Sheriff’s Office is doing what it can to control and deal with the effects that come with drug addiction in the community.

Resources are also being used to locate drug dealers who are local to the Morgan County and North Alabama area.