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Politics, Elections and Government

Yoder Says Mexican Drug Cartels Sending Drugs 'Directly To Places Like Overland Park'

Fox News Channel

Updated at 3:55 p.m.:  

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., said Thursday morning that Mexican drug cartels are directly sending narcotics into Overland Park.

Appearing on Fox & Friends, Yoder, who represents Johnson and Wyandotte counties in the 3rd Congressional District, said the U.S. needs to spend $5 billion more, mostly for building a wall and new fencing, to prevent human trafficking and drugs from coming across the Mexican border. He specifically called out his hometown. "The Mexican cartels are sending this right to our neighborhoods in places like Overland Park, Kansas, where I live."

Overland Park responded that the city doesn't have much drug crime, "which is why Overland Park has one of the lowest crime rates among similarly-sized communities," city spokesperson Meg Ralph said in a statement.

In fact, most drug crimes in Overland Park are small time. "Overland Park occasionally charges and prosecutes misdemeanor drug crimes," Ralph said. Major crimes are handed over to the DEA but "OPPD has no recent related cases."

Later Thursday morning, Yoder's campaign clarified the assertion that Mexican cartels were sending drugs directly to Overland Park. "He used the phrase, end up in places like Overland Park," said campaign spokesperson C.J. Grover, emphasizing the word like.

Yoder was recently named chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. After being elvated to subcommittee chair, Yoder spent two days touring the border in June.

Sam Zeff is KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff

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