A Memphis news report begins with a dramatic pronouncement: “Meth is back.” According to Fox 13, a resurgence in methamphetamine sales and use is being fueled by “super meth labs” in Mexico. The product is cheaper and more dangerous than it was in the past and it’s starting to show up in communities across the nation.
The TV station says the drug hasn’t been revived in Memphis yet, but it is surging in popularity in small counties. One example cited is Mississippi’s Alcorn County, where the sheriff says “80 to 90 percent of our arrests for drugs are meth-related.” The county is just 100 miles from our city.
According to the news report, meth arrests and seizures are up by more than 50 percent in some parts of the Mid-South (Memphis, West Tennessee, North Mississippi, Southern Missouri, Western Kentucky, Northwest Alabama and Central, Northeast and Northwest Arkansas).
Here in Memphis, a law enforcement unit targeting gang activity is closely monitoring a corner of Getwell Avenue – a part of town one officer describes as “one of our high-crime areas.”
The station says officers will “stop cars for minor traffic violations to search for drugs and weapons.”
Of course, it should be noted that that kind of police behavior can lead to rights violations that can result in dismissals of ensuing criminal charges.
The TV reporter said he watched as officers arrested a suspected drug trafficker in an apartment where they confiscated weapons and a small amount of methamphetamine. Today, that’s a relatively rare find in Memphis, but it seems possible that its popularity here will increase as it has in nearby areas.
Those facing drug charges should decline to talk with investigators, police and prosecutors until they are able to speak with a criminal defense attorney.