Methamphetamine in Dallas and North Texas: Expect More Felony Meth Arrests
First things first, exactly what IS methamphetamine (“meth”)? And, why are there more and more news stories of law enforcement here in Texas arresting people for felony distribution as they seize literally millions of dollars of meth hidden in all sorts of clever hidy-holes?
It’s happening all the time … millions of dollars of methamphetamine being discovered by law enforcement as it makes it way from Mexico to various parts of the state.
Consider the following — just within the past ten days or so:
1. Last Saturday, Dallas Woman Arrested for Smuggling $1.6M Meth Hidden in SUV Tires
Just this week, a 46-year-old woman from Dallas named Matilda Perez was stopped over in El Paso by the officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (”CBP”). She was driving a nice Chevrolet Trailblazer, returning into the United States from Mexico last Saturday morning.
Things apparently looked okay from the outside of the SUV but Trian, one of the CBP drug-sniffing dogs, saw — or smelled — things differently. From Trian’s alerts, the border patrol agents held Ms. Perez’s vehicle for a search there at the border, and discovered her tires had been converted into storage compartments for packages of methamphetamine. Lots of meth — she was arrested and charged with trying to smuggle over 50 pounds of methamphetamine into the country (and perhaps back here to Dallas).
The fair market value of the Dallas SUV’s tire stash? $1.6 Million.
2. Same Day, McAllen Border Patrol Discover $1.4 Meth Hidden in Ford Pickup Crossing at Rio Bravo Bridge
That same day, last Saturday, border patrol agents stopped a Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven into the United States at the Rio Bravo Bridge down near McAllen, Texas. They discovered 72 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the truck, bundled into 24 packages. The driver, a Mexican national, was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security. No details on where the meth was hidden, but they did have to use another drug-sniffing dog as well as something Breitbart reports as “non-invasive search technology” to find the stash.
Fair market value of the pickup truck’s stash? $1.4 Million.
3. Last Week, Williamson County Deputy Discovers $3M in Meth On Its Way to Dallas
Last week, a couple driving from Laredo to Dallas was pulled over on in a traffic stop on Interstate 35 by a Williamson County Sheriff’s Deputy. The deputy reportedly saw the driver commit “multiple traffic violations,” so he pulled him over to give him a ticket — and things escalated from there. It ended up with the couple, a 53-year-old man and his 49-year-old wife, being arrested for drug smuggling after law enforcement discovered $3M worth of methamphetamine hidden underneath the rear seat.
4. Week Before, Fayette County Sheriff Discovers $1.3M Meth Hidden in Fire Extinguishers
Just a week or so before these two meth arrests, deputies over in Fayette County pulled over a flatbed Chevy truck in a traffic stop. Their drug-sniffing dog, Lobo, alerted for drugs on the vehicle, and the officers discovered that 30 pounds of methamphetamine had been tucked inside some fire extinguishers there in the truck. Street value? $1.3 Million. (It’s reported that this product was on its way to Houston.)
Why Is Meth So Popular Here in Dallas and in Texas?
Lots of people like meth — and like heroin, it’s lost its stigma and all sorts of middle and upper class folk are open to trying and buying meth these days.
Did you read today about the 50-year-old mayor of a city over in Virginia who got busted for dealing meth? He’s going to resign as mayor of an affluent Washington D.C. suburb — and he’s facing felony charges of methamphetamine distribution.
What is meth?
First of all, there is legal methaphetamine and illegal methaphetamine. Prescription drugs like Desoxyn contain meth and they’re legal as long as you have a doctor’s prescription. (And they have a Schedule II classification under the Federal Controlled Substances Act.)
Perhaps you’re familiar with Adderall? Technically, it’s not meth but it is an amphetamine. And those who have tried meth and Adderall have reported that the experience, or high, is just the same. See, “Neuroscientist: Meth Is Virtually Identical to Adderall—This Is How I Found Out.“
According to the DEA Drug Data Sheet for Methaphetamine, meth is a stimulant akin to cocaine. It is very addictive. You can smoke it, inject it, snort it, or swallow it. Experienced users of meth can go through a gram of meth every 2 or 3 hours when they are binging.
The key to meth’s popularity is the high that it provides. It causes the release of high levels of dopamine into the brain, which causes feelings of pleasure and happiness. Of course, this comes with a cost. Meth damages the body; and long-term use causes serious and permanent harm to the brain as well as the nervous system.
Street names for meth from the DEA: Batu, Bikers Coffee, Black Beauties, Chalk, Chicken Feed, Crank, Crystal, Glass, Go-Fast, Hiropon, Ice, Meth, Methlies, Quick, Poor Man’s Cocaine, Shabu, Shards, Speed, Stove Top, Tina, Trash, Tweak, Uppers, Ventana, Vidrio, Yaba, Yellow Bam.
And what lots of folk are not talking about: apparently, meth is popular with many people — especially those in the gay community — as a way to boost their sexual pleasure. See, “7 Shocking Facts About Meth in the Gay Community,” published by DrugAbuse.com.
Methamphetamine Distribution in Texas: Multi-Million Dollar Business for Mexico Cartels
Heroin, for instance, is a huge money maker for the cartels. And so is methamphetamine.
A few years back, the market in meth fell because federal laws cut back on the availability of certain ingredients needed by American drug makers to cook meth. That didn’t end the demand for the drug; the focus here was on blocking supply.
From a business standpoint, that opened the door for the Mexican drug cartels to fill a market need. Remember, illegal drugs are a commercial enterprise to these organizations, and they operate in much the same way as legitimate, legal business concerns do.
From the perspective of the Mexican cartels, meth was an open opportunity knocking on their door, and they answered that knock. Customers were there, and the cartels would provide them with the meth that they wanted to buy.
The DEA calls these cartel operations “transnational criminal organizations (TCOs)” and the DEA, along with CBP, state law enforcement, county sheriffs, and local police departments, all realize that meth is coming from Mexico these days.
They also know that the meth supply being brought into Texas and the rest of the country is increasing. Meth is a cash cow for the cartels. Those arrests listed above? Just the tip of the iceberg. The billion dollar iceberg.
See, “Mexico’s Cartels Push Aside Cocaine As They Focus On Meth In U.S.,” written by Dane Schiller and published by the Houston Chronicle on November 4, 2015 (a story that includes the 2014 DEA Report, 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary).
Law Enforcement Targeting Meth Right Alongside Heroin in Texas
Here in North Texas, the target isn’t the little guys or mules as much as it is the key players in the meth business. The prosecutors and the task force members want to hurt the business operations, not so much the meth users or those driving the stash truck. So they are investigating suspects and monitoring activities that are operating commercially (or, in felony terms, conspiring to distribute, etc.).
For instance, it’s been about two weeks since the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas announced that federal drug trafficking charges had been filed against 19 people based upon the sale of methaphetamine. Working with the Dallas Police Department and DPS (the Texas Department of Public Safety), these defendants were allegedly involved in a drug business operating in Dallas County.
Among the charges facing these defendants: possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, a federal felony that brings with it a possible sentence of 20 years in a federal prison along with a $1,000,000 fine.
We Can Expect More and More Felony Meth Arrests in Dallas and North Texas
Dallas and North Texas can expect a continued and increasing effort to track down and arrest the people who are managing and operating in illegal meth — and at the same time, we’re likely to continue to read about traffic stops where middle-aged men and women are caught transporting meth through Texas on cartel distribution routes.
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