Comments Off on ‘I know if they weren’t… as high (on Meth) as they were, these crimes would not have been committed,’

YAKIMA, Wash. — Methamphetamine crackdowns here in the Yakima Valley haven’t stopped its prevalence. More people are using the drug. A driver suspected of being high is blamed for running over two boys last week. And, the suspects in the West Valley triple murder case are also linked to meth.

Even in small amounts, methamphetamine can be deadly.

“It makes you numb yourself to everything,” said Eddie Rose.

Rose is now clean, but used meth for years. He said that’s how he knew Kevin Harper, who until recently was the prime suspect in the West Valley murders of Bill, Pauline and Bettye Goggin. There’s also Benjamin McKenzie. The driver police say ran over 11-year-old Israel and 10-year-old Christopher Sanchez while they waited for the bus.

“I know if they weren’t in the position, as high as they were, these crimes would not have been committed,” said Rose.

“In general, someone who is under the influence of methamphetamine can be erratic, can be violent and unpredictable,” said officer Tim Bardwell with Yakima Police.

Police said meth is now the number one drug here in Yakima. Once high, users stay up for days. Their sleep deprivation can cause them to act irrationally.

“It is a terrible drug and unfortunately right now it’s very cheap and very accessible,” said Bardwell.

Tougher laws on ingredients such as cough syrup have helped stop the production, but hasn’t stopped the sale. Dealers are getting it from Mexico instead. That’s why Yakima DEA detectives are focusing on them. Agents made more than 300 arrests last year, but need more help from the community to keep the next victim from getting hurt.

Police say a high percentage of people they arrest are regular meth users or under the influence at the time.



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