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Latest news: 04-05-2010

Dramatic drop in the availability of meth in Etowah Co, Ala.

AL - The Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit made more than 383 arrests in the first quarter of 2010, the highest number since the unit’s inception in 2005. “It’s the best quarter ever in the number of arrests,” Rob Savage, commander of the DEU, said. Those arrests include 30 for trafficking and more than 100 for distribution of drugs, Savage said. The unit also seized about 25 methamphetamine labs and responded on 11 search warrants and 20 tactical operations, he said. “We’ve seen a very dramatic drop in the availability of meth in Etowah County,” District Attorney Jimmie Harp, who was instrumental in the organization of the unit in October 2005, said. “We’re the only county I know of that has made more crack cocaine cases than meth cases.”

Full story, The Gadsden Times

Meth cooks use new process; labs, deaths on the rise

OK - In a state that once led the nation in laws to reduce access to methamphetamine ingredients, the numbers of labs and methamphetamine deaths are on the rise as cooks adapt and use a new process for making the drug. The number of methamphetamine labs has increased by more than 500 in the past three years, according to figures from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control. In 2009, there were 743 labs discovered. Just three years before that, 148 labs were found. Those numbers include labs where people are actively cooking and materials that are dumped and believed to have been methamphetamine labs.

Full story, from The Oklahoman

Meth labs proliferating in Gadsden Co, Fla.

FL - The one-page rant titled "Meth" is now in evidence at the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office, a folded piece of paper packed away somewhere. Two legal-pad pages taped one on top of the other, it depicts the severity of the addiction and illustrates what narcotics investigator Bill Buckhalt considers the hold methamphetamine has on its users. Buckhalt and other GCSO narcotic unit members pulled the document from the wall in the bedroom of a man and woman who were recently arrested on charges of producing the illegal drug known as meth, described by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America as a nervous system stimulant. "Meth," the paper, starts..."I destroy homes, I tear your families apart. Take your children and that (is) just the start."

Full story, The Tallahassee Democrat

Familia Chavez drug trafficking ring busted

FL - A Mexican drug cartel was “annihilated” Tuesday as lawmen raided 11 homes in Lake Wales and Frostproof in an attack on an international methamphetamine syndicate that had centered its operation on the Ridge. “We annihilated them,” Sheriff Grady Judd said of the so-called “Familia Chavez drug trafficking ring” during a press conference Wednesday morning at his headquarters in downtown Bartow. “They were a major importer for the southeast United States and they were headquartered in the Lake Wales area.”

Full story, The Lake Wales News

Authorities seeing more crystal meth

AL - After a three month long investigation and surveillance operation, a drug trafficking duo is behind bars. In a joint operation, the Houston County Sheriff and Dothan Police Departments arrested 26-year-old Ashley Benton Bond of Dothan and 29-year-old Harley David Bottoms of Slocomb and charged them with trafficking methamphetamines.  They were found with $25,000 worth of meth. The two are in the Houston County Jail with a $500,000 bond, and their case will now go before a federal grand jury. The particular form of meth they possessed was crystal meth, also known as "ice", and authorities in the Wiregrass say they're seeing lots of it.

Full story, from WSFA-TV

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