Meth arrests hit record numbers

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Meth is the number one drug of choice in Jackson County, according to the Narcotics Task Force. Commander Curtis Spiers said for the first time, more people have been arrested for meth crimes than any other drug in the county.

Tuesday night, Jackson County drug agents said they seized more than a dozen meth labs and cooking ingredients at a Moss Point home. Authorities said they took four people into custody for the drug crime.

Spiers said, "It resulted in one of largest meth productions."

Spiers said this latest case has pushed meth arrests to the number one spot in the county, surpassing cocaine crimes. He said there have been a total of 216 meth arrests in 2009.

"We knew it was coming; we predicted it," Spiers said about the rise in meth arrests.

Meth continues to stir up problems.  Spiers said last year drugs agents worked overtime busting meth users, sellers and cookers.

"We have made arrests at daycare centers; we arrested prevalent professional business people," Spiers said.

Sheriff Mike Byrd said the drug is so popular because meth cookers can easily buy what they need to make it.

"You can go to Wal-Mart or a department store to pick up the ingredients," Bryd said.

One of the key ingredients is Pseudoephedrine, which is found in a lot cold medicines. In 2005, state law began requiring pharmacies to sell the decongestant behind the counter. Authorities feel the drug should be available by prescription only.

"The state is going forward with it this year, from what I understand, to try to put Pseudoephedrine on a schedule list, which means you would have to have a prescription from a doctor," Spiers said.

"You hate that because of people that need it for sinus problems and things like that," Byrd said.

Both Byrd and Spiers agree stronger laws are a must to help fight against the addictive drug. The law enforcers said they're also stepping up their efforts in 2010 to take more meth dealers and users off the streets.

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