Archive for Friday, January 26, 2007

Meth-related seizures way down in ‘06

Dramatic drop attributed to new law restricting cold and allergy medicine

January 26, 2007

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Law enforcement officers reported no methamphetamine lab busts in 2006 in Douglas County - the first time in at least the past five years.

The decline is part of a statewide trend.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation statistics released this week show that seizures of methamphetamine labs, supplies and equipment were down across the board in 2006.

The decline came even after a new state law requiring counties to report meth lab seizures took effect last year.

"I think we're actually getting better at reporting than we were before," said Kyle Smith, KBI deputy director.

KBI Director Larry Welch credited the decline to a state law, passed in 2005 and named for Matt Samuels, a Greenwood County sheriff killed in a raid on a meth lab. The law places restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter cold and allergy remedies that can be used to make meth.

According to KBI statistics, there were 168 meth-related seizures statewide in 2006, down from 390 the year before. The highest amount was in 2001, with 860 seizures.

"We're not turning somersaults over the fact that there were 168 meth labs in Kansas," Welch said. "That's still too many. But it's a heck of a lot better than it was."

Last year's figure represented 48 operational labs, 76 dump sites and 44 seizures of meth-making chemicals and equipment.

The total in Douglas County peaked in 2002, records show, when law enforcement agencies reported 13 equipment, dump site and lab busts. Last year, only one such seizure was reported in the county.

There were 634 meth-related seizures in 2004, the last year before the passage of the Sheriff Matt Samuels Chemical Control Act. Samuels was shot to death Jan. 19, 2005, while serving a warrant on a rural Greenwood County home that, unbeknownst to the sheriff, contained a meth lab.

The law bearing his name restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, placing medications containing them behind pharmacy counters rather than on store shelves. Buyers also must register and provide identification and may not buy large quantities of the nonprescription medications.

Lt. Kari Wempe, a Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said it hurt to see another Kansas sheriff get killed in a meth lab raid, but at least the law that bears his name has had a positive effect.

"It looks like the legislation has helped," Wempe said.

Now, Smith said law enforcement agencies have shifted their focus to more traditional drug investigation tactics, including questioning street-level suppliers and trying to trace drugs to their source.

But even with meth production apparently down, Smith said the street price of meth hasn't declined, in part because of an influx of "Mexican Meth," a yellow, potent variety of the drug.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

Bladerunner 8 years, 7 months ago

If were going to export jobs to Mexico...Shouldn't it be the meth lab technicians?

staff04 8 years, 7 months ago

Am I missing something here? It seems to me that the last line of the article that Marion discusses is suggesting that a decrease in production in the absence of the influx of this "Mexican meth" would cause street prices to decline...

Am I confused about how market forces work? Wouldn't a decline in production, aka supply, cause an increase in street prices, aka demand?

oldgoof 8 years, 7 months ago

This program contends meth was an entirely "unnecessary epidemic." I found it very informative. . http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/ . This would have been much easier, and far far cheaper than building tens of thousands of jail cells and filling them with patrons at $20,000 a year. And we could have financed another war and built an immigration wall with the left-over change to make some people happy.

staff04 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Marion--

I'm not trying to indict the war on drugs, I'm just trying to figure out if Smith, as quoted in the article, really believes that if this Mexican meth weren't coming into the country that a decrease in production here would cause prices to fall. It just ain't the way economics work.

oldgoof 8 years, 7 months ago

staff04: I think this was just poor writing. Smith knows better. . And Marion is correct in 9:07 post.

Sigmund 8 years, 7 months ago

Oldgoof: I will be watching the pbs frontline show later tonight. Thanks for posting the link. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/

TheGoldenBoy 8 years, 7 months ago

The KBI-now there is a source that we don't question! Good job on arresting the dirty TPD and Shawee Co. Sheriff Deputies though! Back to the meth! I recently read that a DEA spokesman said that the homemade stuff had been replaced by the mexican stuff! Well, if thats the case, that new law hasn't done a whole lot good then. I don't do the stuff myself but I imagine it is probably just as easy to obtain now as it was before the law. But what the heck, if they want to think that they are winning the so-called "drug war" well then let them. Personally speaking, I think the whole thing is ludacrist but if someone wants to try and be a hero why not let them. It makes for some good laughs!

Sigmund 8 years, 7 months ago

All meth is "homemade stuff." The "home" is now Mexico and not Kansas and is a good thing. Better would be a decline in meth usage, if that is your point.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the mexican-made stuff is higher quality, which is why it causes fewer seizures among its users. (BTW, I'm trying to be fit in around here better, so I only read the headline)

i_have_only_valid_opinions 8 years, 7 months ago

My guess is that police patrols of trailer parks are way down for the year, thus fewer meth related incidents. Burn the parks, solve the problem (for the most part).

institches 8 years, 7 months ago

ok..let's see, the article says meth labs not usage. would be best to reduce all, but the focus of the article was the labs... cee cee cee. dee dee dee?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 7 months ago

"ok..let's see, the article says meth labs not usage. "

You mean I really should read the article in order to comment? Boy, will that rock the boat around here. (I'm sure that it won't get less ambiguously written headlines.)

budwhysir 8 years, 7 months ago

Boy will that rock the boat around here,

Meaning something along the lines like people dont know what they are posting about??

Kelly Powell 8 years, 7 months ago

i saw some mexican meth back in 97 in oklahoma....it had a paraffin like base....at a guess it is to keep it in solid form while shipping (a tricky part of meth is to stabilize the crystals, or else it melts around 80 deg )....it was bad enough watching people smoke wax...what was worse wasbut i actually saw a guy fill a syringe and then have to stick the entire thing into a pot of hot water to keep spider like threads of wax coagulating in the chamber before injecting.

kristen23 8 years, 7 months ago

This article is wonderful news. The dangerous chemicals and cooks have no place in Kansas.

The price is raised when it is brought from mexico because more people need to be paid along the chain. It is more professionally manufacted in mexico so its better than stuff made here.

If our governments worked together the problem could epidemic could be beaten.

FYI...Seizure means meth lab raiding, not body seizure.

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