Methamphetamine in West Virginia originates in Mexico

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(Lewisburg) With the drastic increase in methamphetamine arrests in West Virginia, concerns are being raised about the recent rebirth of the drug. Medical and law enforcement leaders are being challenged by the resurgence in meth. And yesterday Governor Jim Justice told our Haley Brown about his plans to explore the issue further. But where is this methamphetamine is coming from?

You may be familiar with the precarious meth labs causing danger and headaches for law enforcement. While those still exist a bigger problem looms outside of the U.S.

Mike Honaker Greenbrier County Director of Homeland Security & Emergency Management said, “You’re talking about using a lot of volatile chemicals. These labs often result in lots of fires, explosions.”
At-home meth labs pose a risk to first responders. Honaker said, “When you hear that term meth lab referring to a place where methamphetamine or crystal meth is being produced that could be referring to somebody’s home or the trunk of a car. We’ve even found meth labs in a suitcase.”

The bright side for first responders is that at-home meth labs are becoming less and less common. The Greenbrier County sheriff says meth on the street is increasingly being brought in from Mexico due to legislative crackdowns on the ingredients used to make meth at home. Sheriff Bruce Sloan said, “Typically the origin for methamphetamine is the country of mexico. It’s shipped in to the united states by passenger cars, buses trains, parcel services, mail delivery.”

A spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Agency in Charleston backed up the sheriff’s claims. Special Agent In-charge David Gourley said most of today’s meth comes from super labs in Mexico that can turn out hundreds of pounds at a time. It means when the drug makes its way to West Virginia, it’s cheaper and more potent. This frustrates Governor Justice as he told us Monday saying, “We have an invasion. It’s an international type invasion.”

The DEA is seeing meth from Mexico with 90% or higher levels of purity. And more pure meth means a more addictive product.

Yesterday Governor Justice said in two to three weeks his office will make an announcement about a community level fix to address the drug crisis in West Virginia.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown

Multimedia Journalist

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