The case against methamphetamine. For Rowan County, NC,
there were two recent busts. Here is a letter
alerting local officials to the curse of meth. Also, Charlotte
Observer recent report. March 13, 2000. This is a major worry for parents
as kids use this highly addictive drug to get work done. They can stay
up on it for days and be very productive. So stressful events like those
around exams can be high risk. So don't push kids so hard to score well
if it invites kids to use meth.
Wed, 06 Jun 2001 US OK: Busts Take Shirts Off Kids' Backs
While the mother and father went to jail, their five children were stripped of their contaminated clothing at a local hospital and taken to a youth
Thu, 04 Jan 2001, US AR: Arkansas Bill Would Limit Cold-Drug Sales
Among proposed bills in the Assembly is a measure that would knock
certain cold medicines off store shelves and make them available only through pharmacies. The idea is to remove those with ingredients used
to make the illegal drug methamphetamine namely, ephedrine and
Wed, 13 Dec 2000 US CA: New Weapon In War On Meth Labs,
A technology spun off from the Persian Gulf War will help local
crime fighters sniff out methamphetamine labs in the Central Valley.
Sun, 18 Jun 2000, US TX: Drug Makers Steal Key Chemical From Farmers
Sitting in a cottonfield with his truck lights
dimmed, Rodney Heigle watched as someone approached his anhydrous ammonia tanks. Moments later the person was gone.
"It only takes about a minute to get a few gallons," Heigle said.
Sun, 18 Jun 2000, US TX: Methamphetamine: An Epidemic Speeding Out Of
Control; becoming our No. 1 problem. The increase of it, the
manufacturing of it, the cleanup, the thefts ... it's becoming more
of a problem than crack cocaine," said Texarkana Ark., Police Chief Bob Harrison.
Tue, 09 May 2000 US MT: Meth
Use Linked To Birth Woes
Tue, 09 May 2000, US UT: Utah's Homegrown
Meth Labs Creating An Epidemic Of Addicted Tots They
also discovered two filthy, hungry boys. An adult in the home was
jailed for operating a meth lab and for child abuse. Later, blood
and hair tests of one of the boys revealed the presence
of methamphetamine in his system.
Mon, 08 May 2000 US UT: Drug
Hell Ensnares Users
Tue, 18 Apr 2000 US OK: Meth
Test Backlog Forcing Judges To Dismiss Cases. A
testing backlog at a state laboratory is forcing judges in northeast Oklahoma
to toss out some methamphetamine cases, often only to see the accused
returned on new drug charges.
Tue, 11 Apr 2000 US CA:
Illicit Meth Labs Develop New Source of Ingredients "There
are very minimal, if any, security requirements," Davis said. "There
are minimal record-keeping requirements. The whole issue could be
taken care of by making it a controlled drug."
Fri, 24 Mar 2000 US KS:
Firefighters Get Tips On Recognizing Drug Labs Two
Shawnee County Sheriff's Department narcotics officers discussed their
experiences regarding the drug Friday while teaching a class on "Meth Labs
-- Bombs and Booby Traps."
Tue, 07 Mar 2000 US
OK: Busting Meth Labs Mixed Blessing For Area.
Woodward said 781 methamphetamine labs were found in Oklahoma in 1999
Sun, 05 Mar 2000 US WI: Task
Force Targets Methamphetamine Agents
from the Brown County Drug Task Force have begun teaching local retailers
how to spot people buying supplies to make methamphetamine --a powerful
and addictive stimulant commonly known as "meth."
Fri, 25 Feb 2000 US TX: Meth
Labs An Increasingly Common Problem In Area. Officials
with Central Texas' Agriplex Drug Task Force said they have busted almost
one illegal meth lab a month in the past half-year.
Wed, 23 Feb 2000 US UT: 'Tweakers' A
Health Threat To Selves, Others. "I
had to wash her off myself before they took her to the hospital," Barnes
said. "The baby was so infested with lice that the hospital advised
me and everybody else that had been near her to shave our heads.
There were a couple of us with bald heads from that assignment."
Tue, 22 Feb 2000 US
UT: Residential 'Mom and Pop' Meth Labs Worry Police
Sun, 6 Feb 2000 US AR:
Agencies Toil To Help Meth Users. "Meth
use is especially prevalent among 12- to 24-year-olds, who track down
its recipe on the Internet and try it at home", "Meth patients also have
an especially high relapse rate, Raper said, partly because of the drug's
easy availability and low cost. "
Sat, 5 Feb 2000 US
AR: 554 Labs Earn State A Top Spot For Meth "But
per capita, we were No. 1. We had five times more labs per
capita than California and 1.6 times more [per capita] than Missouri."
Wed, 02 Feb 2000 US
ID: Police Seek Ears, Eyes, Noses To Fight Meth. On
Wednesday, "What's Cooking in Your Neighborhood?" had its official start
with an announcement spearheaded by the Utah Council for Crime Prevention.
Tue, 1 Feb 2000 US ID: Meth
Causing Problems For Real Estate Agents, Landlords.
"If a landlord doesn't take proper steps to clean an apartment before it
is reoccupied and there is a child in the apartment and that child gets
sick, the parents can sue," Duke said. "The cost of resolving the
lawsuit could faroutweigh the time and money it takes to clean up a lab."
Mon, 31 Jan 2000 US
Seattle WA: Editorial: Small steps could begin slowing
meth. 1.) First is the Department
of Ecology's request for $750,000 2.) $2 million to provide treatment services
in drug courts in four counties 3.)make it Class C felonies to steal anhydrous
ammonia and to possess it with the intent to manufacture meth; 4.)legislation
to create two new crimes: exposing a child to meth manufacture in the first
degree (51 to 68 months for a first-time offender) and second degree (21
to 27 months on the first offense).
Sun, 30 Jan 2000 US OR: Ritalin's
Role In Drug Abuse Uncertain. Here's
an unusual article where a user tries to go back and figure out why he
got into methamphetamine. He pinpoints Ritalin that he started at the age
of 7. There is a growing body of evidence linking this drug to later illicit
use of drugs. Unfortunately, there is not enough concern by parents
to its risks. For more on this site go
Fri, 28 Jan 2000 US
KS: Moran Wants Federal Money To Fight Meth TOPEKA
-- Congress should give more money to help Kansas fight the production
and distribution of methamphetamines, U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran
Sat, 29 Jan 2000
US WA: Editorial: Meth epidemic requires holistic attack Already
this year the number of meth labs investigated by the state patrol has
tripled over the same period in 1999.
Fri, 28 Jan 2000 US MT Free
Outpatient Treatment For Methamphetamine Addiction. That's
the deal the Mental Health Center Chemical Dependency Program is offering
Billings area people age 18 and over. The federal Center for Substance
Abuse Treatment awarded the Mental Health Center Chemical Dependency Program
about $1 million for a three-year research project to evaluate the effectiveness
of outpatient treatment for methamphetamine addiction.
Fri, 28 Jan 2000 US
OK: Growing Number Of Lab Busts Indicates Problem Tulsa
police seized 132 methamphetamine labs last year, new statistics show.
But the year before, they dismantled 47. In 1997, 23 labs were found.
Fri, 28 Jan 2000 US
CA: Meth: The Facts About This Drug
Thu, 27 Jan 2000 DND: US CA: Inland Counties
Cope With Kids Found In Labs
In California in 1998, more than 750 children were found living in homes
where methamphetamine was being manufactured. The Inland Empire, during
a recent 18-month period, accounted for nearly 500 children found living
in meth labs. And police and social officials estimate that thousands more
Thu, 27 Jan 2000 US CA: Uphill
Battle Against Meth Epidemic - Day 5A
Despite state-of-the-art technology, expertly trained staff and increasing
financial resources, many law-enforcement experts question whether even
their best efforts will allow them to suppress the meth trade
Wed, 26 Jan 2000 US CA: Chemical
leftovers post human risks - DAY 4A Left
behind in Riverside kitchens, Moreno Valley hotel rooms, Fontana apartments
and San Bernardino sheds are dangerous chemicals that can hurt the unsuspecting
people who move in months later. Toxic vapors from the poisonous chemicals
used to make the drug seep into pores of walls, ceilings and floors, where
they are touched or inhaled by unsuspecting occupants and their children
for years after the labs are gone.
Sun, 23 Jan 2000
Iowa In nearby Mingo, a man
yanked a hose from a tank and spilled
ammonia over his arms, chest
and groin. Police found him lying in bushes 50 feet from the tank.
Ammonia peeled skin from his arms, chest and penis and caused nerve damage,
Halferty said. Three months later, police caught the same man stealing
Sat, 22 Jan 2000 US MT: Montana
Methamphetamine More Than Police Issue Says Gen McCaffrey. He
said the mayor and county chief executive should be leaders in a community
effort against drugs that includes medical and education leaders as well
as leaders of high-technology companies - employers who need a competent
work force now and for the future.
Sat, 22 Jan 2000 US
MT: IV Meth Use Makes Billings' Problem Unique, Sixty-three
percent of the first 70 methamphetamine addicts to enroll in an
outpatient treatment research
project at the Mental Health Center in Billings have been IV users, project
director Denna Vandersloot reported
Thursday. And more than half
of those who said they injected methamphetamine also said they had shared
needles with other addicts.
Fri, 21 Jan 2000 NO
EASY ANSWERS TO DRUG PROBLEM, U.S. OFFICIAL SAYS.In
the last two months of 1997, Pipe saw seven "psychotic, paranoid and violent
people" who were addicted to methamphetamine. Rimrock Foundation
in Billings agreed to admit all of them and they each needed several weeks
of treatment. That episode with seven clients exhausted the Northern
Cheyenne Recovery Center's entire budget for the year, Pipe said.
Fri, 21 Jan 2000 MCCAFFREY: BILLINGS
MUST CONTROL METH PROBLEM "I
think methamphetamines are probably the worst thing that ever happened
to America," McCaffrey said. "We don't want to have happen in this
state with methamphetamine what happened in Miami with crack cocaine."
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 US WI: Meth
Danger Extended To Road Crews, Scouts Drug
dealers concocting the highly addictive drug
methamphetamine in backwoods
labs are endangering a new category of people: road crews as well as Cub
Scouts, church youth groups and
others who volunteer to gather
litter along highways, law enforcement officials say.
Tue, 18 Jan 2000 US
MT: County's Meth Cases Show Big Increase Over Past Decade In
the early '90s, only about 300 active felony cases were stacked in the
office files. Now there are more than 1,000. Most of that threefold increase
can be directly linked to methamphetamine, according to the county's top
law enforcement official.
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 Fighting
meth addiction in Montana
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 US CA:
Drug lab found in hills `What
a gold mine they had going up there,'' McCarty said. ``It was probably
going on for a few months. I guess the bad guys are running out of
places (to set up labs), and no community is immune from operations like
Mon, 10 Jan 2000-US WA: When
Methamphetamine Cooks Get Busted. By the time he begins work, it's
not uncommon for suspects to be out on bail and snooping around as they
attempt to salvage what the police missed.
Thu, 06 Jan 2000 US IN: Meth
Use Expected To Skyrocket In Indiana. "You
can make a quarter of a pound in five hours. At $100 a gram, that's
pretty good money."
Thu, 06 Jan 2000 US MS: Drug
Agents Find More Crystal Meth Ingredients
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 US WA: An Epidemic In Our Midst: Methamphetamine -- Very
extensive articles Part 4
of 7 Many people sacrifice their lives at the
altar of meth. Part 1,
Fri, 10 Dec 1999 US WI: Penalty
For Theft Of Meth Ingredient May Increase
Fri, 26 Nov 1999-Thailand:
Rival to Heroin Is Thailand's New Nemesis. One million addicts!!
Wed, 17 Nov
1999 US Hawaii. Hawaii has been called one
of the nation's
"highest drug trafficking areas" by
federal drug officials because of our continuing problem with crystal
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 US IA: Wire: Meth
Clinic Treats Children
NORTH CAROLINA 21 busted for "crank" sales
"part of the worst drug problem in Cleveland County right now, worse than
Tue, 09 Nov 1999 US
KY: Drawing A Bead On A Nasty Drug
Oct 11,199 US OK Number
of drug labs booming in southwest
Thu, 30 Sep 1999
Australia: Drug Dealers Drive Country Kids To Crime
9/99 US UT: Meth
Dieters Drop Pounds But Lose Their Minds, Too
June 6-7, 1999,Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Special Report 3 part series:
Meth Monster A very comprehensive series.
Mon, 24 May 1999 US
TN: Federal Courts Bogged Down In Methamphetamine Cases-"We
are just getting flooded. The U.S. attorneys are swamped and the judges
are swamped," Morgano said. And because criminal cases take precedence
over civil cases in federal
court, the impact of the many
drug cases is further magnified. "It means civil cases scheduled for trial
have to get bumped by
criminal cases under the speedy
trial rule," said U.S. District Court Judge Todd J. Campbell. "
Wed, 2 Dec 1998 DND: US TX: Makeshift Methamphetamine Labs Spreading In
N. Texas The Wal-Mart chain has
bent over backward to help, he said. Wal-Mart stores videotape certain
areas of the store for authorities, he said, and have limited the quantities
of ephedrine-bearing medicines they will sell. One case of the cold medication
can be turned into a pound of drug that will fetch about $15,000 on Dallas
streets, police said.
Nov 8, 1998 A meth
diary. Well written article about a LAdy getting hooked.This is a must
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 DND: US WI: Crank, The 'Rural
Crack,' Hits The Heartland . It
is a picture of rural Wisconsin innocence: Tanna Lyons, 14, posing in her
New Richmond Tigers uniform, a volleyball on her knee. Her smile wholesome,
her future seemingly bright, she looks far removed from danger. But within
two years, she was a high school dropout and "banger," shooting a wicked
form of methamphetamine known as crank into her veins.
Sat, 24 Oct 1998 Subject: Meth lab put on display in IA/Drug money in NM
Wed, 14 Oct 1998 US CA Valley meth-making at a rolling
boil California produces more than
90 percent of the nation's methamphetamine, an insidious drug capable of
transforming even the most caring Jekyll into a brutish Hyde.
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 DND: US IA: Meth In Iowa: 'People Have No Idea What's
Doing On Out Neighborhoods are evacuated
near meth labs because of the fear of an explosion of ether or anhydrous,
the chemicals used in making the drug. Kids are involved, starting in middle
school, and parents don't seem to be paying attention. Nine meth labs have
been shut down since in July in Union County - three in one 10-day period
- and Coulter knows he's catching only a fraction of those who are cooking
the illegal drug in their garages and kitchens.
Fri, 22 May 1998 US CA The Mountain View Costco
store has a policy that limits sales of over-the-counter decongestants
to two packages per customer.
Mapnews has a pile of information.
Just go to search. Click categories and find methamphetamines.
from Seattle News December 1999.
to Senate July 99 "Describing methamphetamine trafficking as "one of the
most significant law enforcement and social issues facing our nation today,"
The Koch Crime institute.
letters (pretty powerful reading)Practical information for law enforcment
and a lot of other links.
Police training on meth
courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Justice Assistance
California has been
bearing the brunt of this drug. some graphic pictures and more detail than
you have time to read is here. Also, educational videos can be sold.- for
teachers and parents!!
Go here to see how easy
it is to make this crap and here
to see the hedonistic paths some think we should be walking. Also the erowid
files are illuminating while the anarchists
are downright scary!!.
of the war on drugs and Christine's
Things we can do
Law enforcement should have a program that encourages local merchants to
keep closer control of products used to produce meth and tabs on
who is buying them. These are chemicals such as denatured alcohol,
ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, for example,
are found in a multitude of common cold and allergy medicines. See May
22th article. that limits sales of over-the-counter decongestants to
two packages per customer. Law enforcement should also meet regular with
various entities like electric, gas, delivery and mail companies
who frequently travel the area. Meth labs give distinct odors that should
make it easy to find. Utah
enlists the community.
Some law enforcement agencies want tougher laws on drug dealers and users
on par with cocaine and heroin. While on the surface it makes sense as
this is a terrible drug, its doing little to stem the tide on cocaine and
heroin. Consequently, tougher laws have proven to be futile on other drugs
so what makes anybody think that this will work any differently? See this
article about Washington State. This might be worthy of consideration.
A massive education program needs to go into effect alerting parents, teachers
and community leaders to this terrible drug. As in Gen McCaffrey's suggestion
in a speech
in Montana(01/00), a community coalition must be formed and activily monitor
and combat this problem. Here is the Methamphetamine
Interagency Task Force Feb 1 2000
Washington, which have less serious drug-lab problems, have enacted
stringent laws that require extensive cleanup of drug labs. California
has virtually no laws. Oversight is instead left to the counties,
where county officials say the few regulatory tools at their disposal lack
the necessary teeth to compel property owners to perform the expensive
and time-consuming cleanups" NC could use a laws like this.
all about drugs
Return to home
Valley meth-making at a rolling boil By Michael
G. Mooney, Bee staff writer California produces more than 90 percent of
the nation's methamphetamine, an insidious drug capable of transforming
even the most caring Jekyll into a brutish Hyde. Here's another sobering
statistic: Of the 55 large-scale methamphetamine labs busted nationwide
last year, 46 were in California. Most of those were found in the Central
Valley. Coupled with the fact that methamphetamine, once known as the "poor
man's cocaine," no longer confines itself to the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic
ladder, such numbers finally have grabbed politicians by the lapels. If
only that were enough.
"The truth is," one high-ranking federal official told The Bee, "we
probably know more about the drug trade in Colombia than we do here." While
federal, state and local agencies struggle to share information and coordinate
their efforts, the so-called super labs -- those capable of producing more
than 100 pounds of meth in a single "cooking" -- continue to proliferate
in the Central Valley despite the best efforts of law enforcement. That's
why Rep. Calvin Dooley, D-Hanford, wants the Eastern District of California,
which includes the Central Valley, declared a High Intensity Drug Trafficking
Area. California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats,
support the designation. While Dooley's request remains under consideration
by retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of
National Drug Control Policy, funding would not be available before 2000.
In the meantime, local law enforcement agencies, working in cooperation
with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal and state
agencies, are having some success in disrupting in the production and distribution
of methamphetamine. "Between FY (fiscal year) 96 and FY97," Dooley wrote
in an April 30 letter to McCaffrey, "methamphetamine lab seizures increased
by 97 percent. In FY97, two-thirds of all DEA arrests in the Eastern District
were meth-related." Still, without better coordination among the various
law enforcement agencies, improved training and more resources, officials
say California faces the prospect of winning the battle while losing the
Federal officials believe Mexican organized crime is behind much of
the meth trade. But pinpointing the ringleaders has been difficult. That's
because the labs are structured so that if they are busted, the people
who are arrested know little beyond their own job -- not even the name
of the person who hired them. One federal official said intelligence about
the methamphetamine trade is woefully lacking. He pointed out that there
is no military-style intelligence equivalent in the war on methamphetamine.
Such a centralized intelligence operation, where data could be analyzed
and shared among all the involved law enforcement agencies, probably would
make it easier for the men and women in the trenches. Because many of those
involved in the meth trade are Mexican nationals who often use multiple
aliases, law enforcement officials say it can be difficult to determine
whether they are key players in the operation or just low-level "mopes."
It is quite possible, one local law enforcement official said, that major
players have been arrested, only to escape with light jail sentences because
no one realized who they were or what role they actually played in the
operation of the lab.
But identifying and arresting the big players in the meth trade is
only one aspect of the problem. It is a war with multiple fronts. Law enforcement
officers also want better control and data involving the chemicals -- denatured
alcohol, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine -- used in the methamphetamine manufacturing
process. Most of the substances are legal and have other uses. Ephedrine
and pseudoephedrine, for example, are found in a multitude of common cold
and allergy medicines. The Stanislaus County Drug Enforcement Agency
pioneered a program to encourage local merchants to keep closer control
of such products and tabs on who is buying them. Many law enforcement
officials also want sentencing laws revamped. Penalties for the possession
of methamphetamine -- whether for personal use or sale to others -- are
not as stiff as possession of rock cocaine or heroin. The key to the meth
explosion in California and the rest of the nation ultimately lies with
the consumer. Without a horde of willing buyers, there is no meth problem
-- at least not on the current scale. National statistics indicate that
the demand for meth has skyrocketed since 1990 even as cocaine and marijuana
have fallen out of favor. And the meth problem is likely to get worse before
it gets better. The Office of National Drug Control Policy believes the
proliferation of methamphetamine will be the biggest drug problem the nation
faces in the next 10 years. All the more reason to turn the rhetoric into
action, one local law enforcement official said, sooner rather than later.
ource: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Pubdate:
Thu, 21 May 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: ANDY BRUNO AND STEVEN CHAE Mercury News Staff Writers DECONGESTANT
LIMITS LEAVE CUSTOMER COLD Q: The Mountain View Costco store has a policy
that limits sales of over-the-counter decongestants to two packages per
customer. The pharmacist said the policy was in accordance with some Drug
Enforcement Administration regulation but he didn't know which one. What
is this all about? - -- John Carr, Mountain View A: Costco voluntarily
agreed to establish the two-package limit for sales of over-the-counter
cold medicines, says a DEA spokeswoman. The pharmacist you spoke with was
probably referring to the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of
1996, intended to limit manufacturing and use of the drug methamphetamine,
more commonly known as crank or speed. Two substances commonly found in
cold remedies, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine, are necessary ingredients
in the manufacture of methamphetamine. One of those substances can be found
in the popular over-the-counter medications Sudafed, Actifed, Tylenol Cold,
Contac, Tavist D and NyQuil, among others. The act limits retail sales
to 24 grams of pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine base per transaction.
Copyright: 1998, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Pubdate: 08 Nov 1998 Author: Jessica McBride of the Journal Sentinel staff
CRANK, THE 'RURAL CRACK,' HITS THE HEARTLAND -- HARD Behind the pastoral
quiet of Wisconsin farming communities, a monster that's become the drug
of choice is swallowing its users New Richmond -- It is a picture of rural
Wisconsin innocence: Tanna Lyons, 14, posing in her New Richmond Tigers
uniform, a volleyball on her knee. Her smile wholesome, her future seemingly
she looks far removed from danger. But within two years, she was a high
school dropout and "banger," shooting a wicked form of methamphetamine
known as crank into her veins.
Labeled the "rural crack" because of its popularity with small-town,
working-class white people, crank is bringing urban drug scenes to postcard
farming communities. Wisconsin authorities, alarmed by the jump this year
in seven counties, most bordering Minnesota, say crank use is near epidemic
in northwest Wisconsin and spreading south and east. Chippewa, Dunn,
Eau Claire, Pierce, Polk, St. Croix and Dane counties are reporting increased
The "poor man's cocaine," controlled by Mexican drug cartels and once
confined to California and the Southwest, has marched eastward, decimating
people in states such as Montana and Wyoming, and is now considered the
"Midwest drug of choice," according to the Wisconsin attorney general's
office. It has forged into Wisconsin from border counties of Minnesota,
which along with Iowa and Missouri is wrestling with the worst "methidemic"
in the heartland. "For these small counties, where there is not a lot of
cocaine, it's the most significant problem," Wisconsin Attorney General
James Doyle said. "The front line of the battle is in northwest Wisconsin."
Crank, a stimulant affecting the central nervous system, can be almost
instantly addictive. Its parent drug, amphetamine, was developed as a nasal
decongestant and bronchial inhaler. Methamphetamine is smoked, injected,
ingested or inhaled. The drug also is called "chalk" and "crystal." Crank
sells for about $15 a hit and can cause anger, panic, paranoia and hallucinations.
often dig at their skin, trying to get at "crank bugs" -- imaginary insects
they think are crawling just under the surface of their gaunt bodies.
Jeff Lehto, 31, who lives in a trailer in the St. Croix County countryside,
his girlfriend pulled out all her hair just to get at the "bugs."
crank high lasts about eight to 24 hours or so, compared with about 20
minutes for crack cocaine. And unlike plant-derived cocaine, crank can
be made in dangerously explosive homemade labs, with ingredients purchased
at local stores. Eight labs were found in Wisconsin in the last six weeks
alone. They are relatively unsophisticated, employing fruit jars and cake
pans, and cleanup can be dangerous and expensive for law enforcement officials.
"These are Beavis and Butt-head labs, and more often than not, Beavis
and Butt-head are in there making it," said Tim Schultz, a state narcotics
agent. Several Barron County men were arrested this summer in Rice Lake,
burglarizing a business to find farm fertilizer, the only ingredient they
were missing for a crank recipe called the Nazi Method, Schultz said. Equipment
and ingredients to make crank was found burning in a garbage bin outside
a restaurant in Dunn County. And two Madison college students with chemistry
degrees were sentenced this summer for making a lab with directions found
on the Internet.
To get an idea of crank's typical ingredients, imagine everything you
would not want to put in your body. It's a witch's brew that includes cat
tranquilizer, car starter fluid, drain cleaner, paint remover and red phosphorus
-- commonly found on the strike pads of matchbooks. An investment of a
few hundred dollars in over-the-counter medications and chemicals can produce
thousands of dollars' worth of methamphetamine. About a year after Tanna's
volleyball photo was snapped, she began shooting crank, her family says.
Her teeth rotted. Her body was covered with sores from trying to get at
the crank bugs. In July, she died in an automobile crash; the Clear Lake
teenager behind the wheel of the car she was riding in had alcohol in his
system, authorities said. "The younger kids are starting to use it," said
Andre Lyons, 18, Tanna's brother, sitting in his family's rural New Richmond
home. A gangly teenager with frosted blond hair and green painted toenails,
Lyons admits having been a user, too. Tanna, he said, "was using it really
bad." "It (crank) is like candy in a candy store around here," said Vickie
Lyons, the mother of Tanna and Andre. She tried it herself around a local
Bob Weiner, spokesman for national drug czar Barry McCaffrey, said
the government has taken many steps to halt an "explosion" of methamphetamine.
This year, Congress increased federal penalties for trafficking methamphetamine
to equal those for crack. The federal government also provided $24.5 million
for more special agents to work on the problem. "It could be the crack
cocaine of the next century if we don't take steps now to stop it," Weiner
said. Doyle says seizures of clandestine labs in the Midwest rose from
44 in 1995 to more than 500 in 1997. Methamphetamine cases submitted to
the State Crime Laboratory are expected to hit 125 this year, up from 77
in 1997. The hot spot for now is St. Croix County, next to Minnesota. Milwaukee
and Chicago -- which were some of the last cities in the country to get
crack cocaine -- have seen little of the drug so far, partly because established
local street gangs that don't deal in crank guard their drug territories.
In contrast, places such as St. Croix County - -- part Minnesota bedroom
community, part rural farm country -- are wide open. "We have a huge amount
of methamphetamine here," said Eric Johnson, St. Croix County district
attorney. "I'd say we're one step short of an epidemic."
U.S. Attorney Peggy Lautenschlager said methamphetamine has been in
Wisconsin for years, but in the less prevalent and milder version known
as speed. That was the domain of motorcycle gangs, and never caught fire
outside their circles. Crank -- speed "cranked up" -- is different. "This
(crank) is far more broad-based," she said. "It's something everyday members
of the community are using." Lautenschlager said authorities are worried
about violence associated with the drug, which increases the hormone
dopamine, triggering aggression. A form of methamphetamine was used by
kamikaze pilots during World War II to increase their sense of invincibility.
And prosecutors said Timothy McVeigh used it before the Oklahoma City federal
building bombing. Lautenschlager said some Wisconsin counties are seeing
increases in reports of domestic violence. Just last month, a Dunn County
couple reported that their 14-year-old son had threatened to kill them
after using methamphetamine.
"We are very concerned because this is a drug that creates monsters,"
Dunn County District Attorney Jim Peterson said. In some cases, though,
appearances are deceiving. With her long blond hair and freshly scrubbed
face, Brandy Schmit, 19, looks as if she should be worrying about class
rings or college applications. Instead, she was sobbing in a Hudson courtroom
last month as she received seven months in jail for crank delivery. "She
looks like the homecoming queen and she could have been the homecoming
queen," said Lauri Gaylord, her attorney. Instead, Schmit earned the title
"Light Bulb Queen" around her New Richmond circles because she used bulbs
to smoke crank. "Crank is everywhere," she said earlier this month in her
mother's Hudson home. "It's in Baldwin, it's in Menomonie, it's been in
Eau Claire a long time." Crank makes robots. Users don't sleep or eat --
sometimes for days; sometimes for weeks. Schmit's record was 16 days. With
no sleep. Schultz said he has heard of one person staying up 52 days. "It's
easy to stay awake that long," Schmit said. "You just do it more and more
and more and more and do it until you can't do it anymore." Her joints
cracked when she walked. She had "crank bugs." "Your body just itches,"
Schmit said. "The crank comes out of your pores. How would you like Clorox
bleach and rat poison coming out of your pores?" Chronic users lose
weight, lose their teeth, lose their minds. "I saw dragons, people standing
on roofs wearing night-vision goggles," Schmit said. Both Schmit and
Tanna were part of a New Richmond circle of users -- generally kids from
broken, dysfunctional families -- that revolved around 19-year-old Nick
Brabec, one of Wisconsin's most prolific crank dealers. All it takes, authorities
said, is a dynamic figure like Brabec for a problem to take off in a town.
Brabec now is seen mostly on a videotape. He was sent to federal prison
in September and agreed to make an informational tape that is used to educate
law enforcement officials about the perils of crank. In the video, his
face retains the scarecrow look of a user. His blond hair is shaved into
a crew cut, his thin body encased in prison red.
"This (New Richmond) was just a small-town farming community," he says
on the tape. "But it (crank) is in the schools; anyone who will get ahold
of a needle will bang it. I've seen 12-year-olds use it and I've seen 45-
to 50-year-olds use it, and all in between." He tells the law enforcement
audience: "It's too late. The truth hurts, but you missed the boat . .
. You missed coke in the '70s and you missed meth in the '80s and '90s."
Authorities are trying to prove him wrong. Last February, a special joint
methamphetamine initiative by local, federal and state law enforcement
officials was launched in Wisconsin, Doyle said. Many offenders have been
arrested. Doyle also sponsored a first-of-its-kind methamphetamine summit
in Menomonie last month to increase public education for law enforcement,
educators, paramedics and so forth. "The potential for an epidemic is really
there," Doyle said. "But in Wisconsin, we are able to recognize the national
trends and are working very hard to stop the drug." Schultz said he believes
it's already an epidemic. These are towns, after all, where the only substances
previously having significant impact were marijuana and alcohol. Although
the number of homemade labs is growing, tracking the crank trail through
northwestern Wisconsin still leads back to dealers in Minnesota and, beyond
that, deep into Mexico.
Tim McCormick, the resident agent in charge of the Minneapolis-St. Paul
office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration -- which includes
seven northwestern Wisconsin counties -- has firsthand knowledge of that
trail. He said five of the six largest federal crank investigations under
his jurisdiction led authorities to criminal organizations outside Mexico
City. Twenty Mexican methamphetamine organizations have been identified
by the DEA as being involved in the Midwest. Of 205 narcotics cases McCormick's
office worked in 1997, 62 involved methamphetamine that originated in Mexico.
In 1998, the figure jumped to 106 out of 256 cases. "Methamphetamine this
year became the No. 1 drug we're seizing, and violators we're arresting,"
McCormick said. In all of 1997, agents seized 58.4 pounds of methamphetamine;
as of Sept. 1 this year, 89.3 pounds had already been seized -- outpacing
cocaine for the first time. McCormick said the Mexican cartels prefer methamphetamine
because they have easy access to the necessary ingredients and don't have
to deal with South American cartels producing plant-derived drugs such
as cocaine. Many high-level Minnesota crank dealers are illegal Mexican
immigrants who tend not to be users, he said. "It's just going down the
line into northwest Wisconsin, where there is a large user problem," McCormick
said. Russ Cragin, a Dunn County sheriff's investigator, spread a diagram
on his desk to illustrate the point. Donald V. Cashman and Scott Fedderly
- -- both dealers now in federal prison -- were featured in the middle.
The names of two dozen users, mostly rural Dunn County working-class
adults, were spread out from their names like a family tree. Cashman was
a St. Paul house painter getting the drug from dealers within the Mexican
community there, Cragin said. He sold methamphetamine to Fedderly, an unemployed
man nicknamed "Gilligan," who lived in a stolen camper in rural Dunn County.
Authorities learned the men and others were stealing property -- John Deere
tractors and such -- along the Wisconsin-Minnesota border to exchange for
crank, Cragin said. Police confiscated a Tupperware bowl full of methamphetamine
from Fedderly's camper and a book called "How to Manufacture Methamphetamine"
inside his Isuzu Trooper. A sting was conducted on Cashman's St. Paul home,
using a Chippewa Falls boy as an informant. Saying that he "would be killed,"
Cashman refused to name his Mexican suppliers. "People shouldn't panic,"
Cragin said. "But they should be prepared. It (crank) is coming, and it's
here." In one of Wisconsin's most infamous crank cases, Deborah Cochran,
a mother of four from River Falls, was sent to federal prison in August
for dealing crank. Authorities said she allowed her 16-year-old daughter,
a student at the high school, to snort it. Todd Schultz, school psychologist,
said about two dozen students ultimately became users. "It was difficult
to watch all the kids burning and crashing," Schultz said. "A lot of kids
used to go there (Cochran's house) at lunch hour and before and after school.
Some students are still trying to recover. There were school dropouts,
class failures, some pregnancies." Despite those kinds of horror stories,
law enforcement attention seems to be making a difference in some circles.
In Tanna's hometown of New Richmond on a recent Friday evening, the souped-up
cars packed with teenagers hummed in Big Boy Gyros parking lot. It wasn't
hard to find former crank users; it was harder to find someone who admitted
still using the drug. An 18-year-old girl who described herself as a "preppy"
volunteered that she was in treatment for crank and a follower of Nick
Brabec, as Tanna had been. A year before, she said, half the people at
any party would have been using crank. But she said things changed in town
since Brabec's arrest. The crowd that night was heading off to party in
cornfields -- with a keg of beer. - --- Checked-by: Rich O'Grady
Meth lab put on display in Sgt. Bluff by Markes Rodgers Some Siouxlanders
got a crash course in "meth education" Monday night. Th e Sergeant Bluff
police department put on a demonstration of the dangers of meth. They brought
in a former racing trailer that was also a former meth lab. It was
seized during a drug raid and now serves as a portable classr= oom where
the public can learn more about the dangerous drug. Resident Becky Admire
said, "It's very interesting and frightening. Realizing the common household
things that are utilized." Those things include starter fluid, table salt
and baking soda. These are items easily found in stores.
Another resident said, "I'm very scared about the problem. What the
children had to face. If you can cut them of at the path before they get
there you're that much farther ahead." Reports on the meth problem in Iowa
are staggering. From 1994 to 1998 meth seizures in Iowa grew 20 times.
times more labs were uncovered, a= nd there were four times the number
of arrests. However, sometimes not even statistics are enough for some
people to believe there's a problem in the= ir own backyard. Sgt. Bluff
police officer Todd Trobaugh says, "That's the hardest thing, when we find
kids under the influence of meth and bring it= to the parents. A lot of
times the parents get on the defensive they don't w ant to believe it's
happening to their kids in Sgt. Bluff or Sioux City, --
Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: MSNBC Pubdate: 10/24/98 Online:
http://www.msnbc.com $1.8 million sent to cities to fight drug abuse, violence
New Mexico=96 Eight New Mexico cities are going to get more than $1.8 million
dollars to fight drug abuse and other crimes in housing projects. The federal
government made the award in an effort to thwart the increasing incidence
of violence and drug activity in publicly funded housing developments.
Albuquerque will receive $600,000 and Santa Fe just over $200,000