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Meth seen in 'small pockets'

In Vermont, as across much of New England, meth-
amphetamine has not yet become the predominate problem
for drug enforcement.

“We have meth problems in small pockets where people have
been testing it,” says Lt. Leo Bachand with the State Police
Drug Task Force. “We have real problems with crack, heroin
and oxy [OxyContin] … the last thing we need is the meth.”

Since 2002 about 10 meth labs have been uncovered by
authorities – and one of those was in the trunk of a car.
Other arrests for possession or trafficking have been slowly
but steadily increasing. In 2004 the drug task force made 32
meth-related arrests, up from just eight the year before.

“We have been gearing up for meth for several years and waiting, but it doesn’t seem to have happened,” says John O’Connor of the DEA office in Northern Vermont.

The state drug task force has begun meeting with treatment, prevention and health care professionals to create a strategy to combat meth if and when it gets a foothold in the state.

The DEA says recent intelligence indicates that methamphetamine use and availability is on the rise in the northern counties of Vermont. Sources of intelligence indicate that the drug is being transported from Canada into the United States by individuals frequenting popular ski resorts near the international border.

"We are seeing an uptick in labs – both in what we call traditional labs and the one-pot cook method," Lt. Jim Cruise, head of the Vermont State Police's Clandestine Drug Lab Enforcement Team, told the Vermont Press Bureau in June 2010. "That's consistent with the trend we're seeing across New England as well."

According U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, law enforcement authorities interdicted one lab in Vermont in 2005, five in 2006, two in 2007 and two in 2008, the Vermont Press Bureau reported.

However that data doesn’t include meth dump sites which contain chemicals and equipment.

"This year alone we're up to at least five labs we've either gone in on or encountered after the fact," Cruise told the Vermont Press Bureau.

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