Exclusive: Crystal Meth Comeback - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Exclusive: Crystal Meth Comeback

Right now, Texoma is seeing a resurgence of Crystal Methanphetamine use and production. Prosecutors say the number of Meth labs found is once again on the increase. The drug's addictive properties have taken a toll on many in Texoma. "It attacks the pleasure sensors in the brain... (A users first time has been described as) Its like you take a saw, cut the top of your head off and pour every single good thing you ever felt into your brain... You can never forget what it felt like, and you can never achieve it again," explains Prosecutor Dobie Kosub.

Many families in Texoma have been torn-apart my addiction. "Its very addictive, its very internally corrosive and it has destroys a lot of lives," said former Prosecutor Rick Mahler. Mahler now represents clients who are sometimes Meth addicts. He was in the DA's Office when the drug first appeared on Law Enforcement's radar. "We first started seeing it early to mid 90's in small amounts. Some of the motorcycle gangs were some of the first ones we saw it with. It spread out from there," said Mahler.

The drugs popularity is attributed to its ease of production. "The reason crystal Meth is so popular here is we have the raw materials for it here," said Mahler. All the drug's ingredients - Pseudoephederine, Lithium batteries and anhydrous ammonia - were once available in unlimited quantities.

That all changed after an incident in December 2003. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Nikky Green was murdered by Ricky Ray Malone near Devol, OK. Malone is awaiting execution for his crime.

After the Green murder, Oklahoma passed a law restricting the sale of drugs containing Pseudoephederine. That cut back on the Meth labs found in the state significantly. Texas, however, did not have such a law. Many drug makers took advantage of that and the demand for the drug's ingredients skyrocketed south of the Red River.

The law went nation wide, and the sale of products containing Pseudoephederine now require a signature showing an ID. Drug makers have adapted, though. The current modus operandi is called Smurfing - sending people around to several pharmacies to buy the maximum legal amount at each place.

Cooks have derived easier ways to make the drug and can sometimes produce a batch in as little as 30 minutes. Still, the demand is high. Officials estimate that demand is behind up to 70% of all crime in Wichita County. They say many of the drug makers minions are responsible for crimes such as car and home break-ins.

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, click on the links to the upper left. They will take you to community resources for help.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6

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