Meth still a Missouri problem, but now it comes from Mexico

5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri may have shed its unwanted image as the meth lab capital of the U.S., but the dangerous and addictive drug remains a major problem, a top Drug Enforcement Administration official said Friday.

The depth of the problem became clear Thursday when the DEA announced a methamphetamine crackdown called Operation Crystal Shield, which will focus on eight “transportation hubs” where high levels of Mexican meth are being seized. The St. Louis Division, which covers all of Missouri and Kansas as well as southern Illinois, is the northernmost of the eight targeted areas. The others are Atlanta, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Phoenix.

The targeted DEA divisions accounted for more than 75% of all meth seizures last year. The St. Louis Division includes hundreds of miles of major roadways through the three states, including interstates 35, 70, 44 and 55, providing a pipeline not only to the central U.S. but the upper Midwest and the Northeast.

William J. Callahan, special agent in charge of the St. Louis Division, said the targeted operation will allow better coordination of intelligence about trafficking routes, the types of vehicles being used, and other information.

For many years, meth was a two-pronged problem: Much of it came from Mexico, but thousands of users across the U.S. made their own drug in home labs or simply by mixing the dangerous concoction in a 2-liter soda bottle. In 2004, more than 24,000 meth labs were seized across the U.S., including nearly 3,000 in Missouri, which for years was atop the list of states for lab seizures.

A 2005 federal law that regulated the retail sale of over-the-counter cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in the manufacture of homemade meth — and similar efforts by state legislatures led to a sharp decline in labs. Statistics for 2017 show about 2,500 lab seizures nationwide and just 91 in Missouri.

But it doesn’t mean people stopped using the drug that often causes bizarre hallucinations and can lead to rotting teeth, brain damage and death. Mexican “super labs” filled the void, producing a drug with a higher purity but at a low cost.

“There’s still always that demand for meth,” Callahan said.

Within the St. Louis Division, meth is most problematic in western Missouri and Kansas, while fentanyl and heroin are bigger concerns in St. Louis, Callahan said.

The DEA said its seizures of meth rose by 127%, from 49,507 pounds (22,456 kilograms) to 112,146 pounds (50,869 kilograms), between fiscal years 2017 and 2019, and DEA meth-related arrests rose by nearly 20%. Authorities seized about 50,000 pounds (22,680 kilograms) at U.S.-Mexico border crossings from October through January — more than was seized for the entire 2017 fiscal year, the DEA said.

St. Louis Division seizures rose 56% in just one year, from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2019.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating shots fired in downtown Columbia early Sunday morning. According to a news release from... More >>
51 minutes ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 9:40:44 AM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - A Gravois Mills man is dead after being ejected from his vehicle Saturday night. According to... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, August 09 2020 Aug 9, 2020 Sunday, August 09, 2020 9:18:00 AM CDT August 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The call to improve community policing is on the rise, especially in the wake of nationwide protests after... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 8:47:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 4:41:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
PIKE COUNTY - A woman who the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported missing and "possibly in danger" Thursday was found... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 3:08:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
WARRENSBURG, Mo (AP) — Two Warrensburg man have been charged in a shooting at a large birthday party that left... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in Continuous News
OSAGE COUNTY - One 15-year-old died and another was airlifted to University Hospital after they hit a truck head-on while... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 12:32:00 PM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
(AP) - The Mid-American Conference has become the first league competing at college football's highest level to cancel its fall... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 10:48:00 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The tax holiday weekend is here and shoppers are bumping up computer sales. From Aug. 7-10 shoppers can... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 10:45:00 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A 24-year-old Carthage man is charged with first-degree murder in a December 2019 shooting death of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 10:17:44 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- A salmonella outbreak caused by onions is expanding and has infected 640 people from 43 states.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 08 2020 Aug 8, 2020 Saturday, August 08, 2020 9:18:00 AM CDT August 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for help in locating a Columbia man who was last seen on... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 9:16:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —Despite ongoing uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, several business owners have opened up shop in the North Village... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 6:57:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge has ordered a halt to evictions in St. Louis through the end of August,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA —Tax Free Weekend usually sees a rush of parents buying everything they need for their kids for the upcoming... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 5:32:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — State Rep. Jon Carpenter is the likely winner of a Democratic primary for a Clay County... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 5:13:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — The SEC has announced two more games of the 2020-2021 football season. Mizzou will play Alabama in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 07 2020 Aug 7, 2020 Friday, August 07, 2020 4:12:00 PM CDT August 07, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
11am 85°
12pm 88°
1pm 90°
2pm 92°