MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (9/19/13) – In week ten of an ongoing series of informative meth-related articles supplied by Muhlenberg County Sheriff Curtis McGehee, the topic for discussion this week is the origins of meth, the extra benefits of meth busts and symptoms of meth.
Meth started showing up in Muhlenberg County in the late 90’s; by 2000 the drug was commonly found throughout the area. During this period, the type of meth being produced in clandestine labs was in the form of powder.
These volatile labs containing ingredients such as: lithium, starting fluid (either) and anhydrous ammonia were volatile and at times explosive. Occasionally someone would be burnt as a result of a meth lab explosion. There were also times when barns, homes, buildings or other structures have been blown up when the lab exploded.
After a few years the Mexican Drug Cartel realized that they could capitalize on opportunity and began shipping meth to parts of the country were they had not previously been active. The type of meth manufactured by the cartel is often referred to as crystal. Unlike powder meth, it looks like pieces of crystal or glass. It is no less potent than powder methamphetamine and some users prefer it to the “powder” type.
Recently we seized $48,000 cash in lieu of property from a crystal meth dealer. We had another person in our county that admitted to selling approximately $10,000 worth of crystal meth each week. Both of these persons are now in prison and many of their profits have been seized. When the Sheriff’s Department seizes cash or property, it is a relief to tax payers because those funds are used to provide items for law enforcement that normally would be an expense to the general public. There are some that oppose this method of enforcement but personally I feel that seizures are not only appropriate but essential in the “war on drugs”.
Presently law enforcement officers are seeing powder meth and are also making arrests related to manufacturing the drug but crystal meth has now become slightly more popular. It can be difficult to find crystal meth because there are no local labs that produce it and it is basically odorless to humans; however investigative measures, including our K-9 Unit (Manny), are producing numerous meth busts.
The symptoms of both kinds of meth are basically the same among users: difficulty sleeping, nervous activity, presence of drug paraphernalia, loss of interest in personal hobbies, oral health issues; sores on the face or torso and paranoia are all symptoms that may indicate that a person is using methamphetamine.
Finally, the drug cartel is now producing meth in a liquid form that looks similar to water. In fact, it can be smuggled into the country in water bottles. Fortunately this type of meth is extremely rare but it does exist.
If you suspect illegal drug activity, please contact law enforcement at 1-888-959-8477 or report it online at www.muhlenbergcountysheriff.com
Information provided by Sheriff Curtis McGehee (Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Office)
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