Cartels send ice from super labs to Mississippi
An underworld that traffics meth has found its way to the south, with Mexican drug cartels sending small groups to handle the delivery of meth in its most potent form.
The addictive stimulant is known as Mexican meth, crystal meth or ice because of its appearance.
Hundreds of kilos of ice have been found in Mississippi in the past couple of years and most of it is linked to Mexican drug cartels and their super labs, said Daniel Comeaux, agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Gulfport office.
He said that drug cartels are trying to infiltrate different states and are setting up cell heads as distributors. The DEA has arrested about 20 cartel members in ice investigations in South Mississippi, he said.
Mexico is the main source of meth consumed in the United States, according to the Justice Department’s 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment.
The influx in South Mississippi is in line with a DEA assessment that shows a shifting landscape nationwide and the possible effects of a 2010 Mississippi law that outlawed popular decongestants containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make meth.
Since the law passed, reports of home meth labs, dump sites and related chemical and equipment finds have decreased dramatically.
Drug cartels know their super labs can meet the high demand for ice better than small-time meth cooks can.
Ice sells for $150 to $200 a gram on the street. Just one ounce of it provides about 30 “hits” or doses.
Drug traffickers typically charge local suppliers hundreds of dollars or more for a pound.
Ice is generally smoked or injected but also can be swallowed or inhaled. Its effects can last for six hours, followed by difficulty in sleeping for several days. Health experts say ice and other forms of meth can cause bizarre, dangerous behavior and debilitating physical and mental health problems.
The drug also rots teeth and makes addicts look years older.
Here at home in Jeff Davis Parish, there have been no reports of “ice” from Mexico, but that doesn’t mean that crystal meth is a stranger to our streets. Just last month, the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest of Shannon Boudreaux, 40, of Mill Street in Lake Arthur for distribution of methamphetamine. Detectives made the arrest after Boudreaux distributed two grams of crystal meth to an undercover officer.
In February, Welsh police reported the arrest of Nicolas Coble, 33, of Welsh, for selling drugs out of the town’s garbage truck. Coble was charged with possession of crystal meth, possession of a Schedule I narcotic with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and malfeasance.
Jennings police recently reported a crackdown on drug traffickers in the city, and have made dozens of drug-related arrests since the first of the year. Dozens more are expected to be made each month, city police report.
With all that said, the public can do its part in keeping illegal drugs off our streets. Simply report any suspicious activity you see so that our local police departments can continue to investigate.
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