Comments Off on Methamphetamine in the Tuscarawas Valley: Area law enforcement says problem won’t go away

Area law-enforcement officials continue to host presentations about drug trends in the Tuscarawas Valley.

“We’re facing pretty much everything,” Orvis Campbell said recently to a group gathered at the Tuscarawas County Public Library. The various drugs police are encountering include cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

Campbell, a chief deputy at the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Department, and Detective Chaz Willet of the New Philadelphia Police Department addressed a group of nearly 30 people.

“The drug problem is the crime problem,” said Campbell, adding that 94 percent of crimes in the county are drug-related. He added that, on a national level, $634 is spent per second fighting drugs in America and cocaine is the “drug of choice” of most Americans.

“We’re not going to win this war,” Campbell said. “But it’s a war we’re going to keep fighting.”

A RISE IN LABS

An increasing number of meth labs have been discovered in the Tuscarawas Valley, including Tuscarawas, Holmes, Harrison and Carroll counties.

In 2013, there were 161 meth labs discovered throughout those four counties.

In the summer, more than 200 meth labs were found or dismantled.

In November, four meth  labs in Gatorade bottles were discovered at a Midvale residence. Two meth labs were actively cooking when law enforcement officials arrived on the scene. A Newcomers-town man was arrested in mid-November after two nonactive meth labs and drug paraphernalia were seized from his home.

Those labs brought the 2014 total of meth labs discovered to 372, according to Sgt. Joe Mullet of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department.

Mullet is the leader of the sheriff department’s three-man Meth Containment Team, which includes Sgt. Tim Stryker and Junior Troyer, a firefighter and reserve deputy.

Mullet credits the rise in discovered meth labs to the public’s taking a proactive approach in helping law enforcement target the problem.

“I think word’s getting out there a lot more of what to look for,” he said. “People are becoming more aware of what they see.”

NOT GOING AWAY

Even though the public is taking action in helping law enforcement locate possible meth labs, Mullet said the problem isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Meth, I’m afraid, is not going away,” he said. “As long as there is a demand for it, it’s going to be there.”

To minimize the demand for meth, Mullet said, prevention tactics would play a large role, which would include teaching young children about the dangers of drugs.

Besides meth, the biggest drug problem in the area is heroin. Mullet said law enforcement is encountering more heroin overdoses and seeing more of the drug on the street.

Mullet said drug trends usually last about 10 years, with the drug being present in the area and then slowly fading away. However, Mullet believes meth will not be replaced with another drug.

“It seems all the drugs go in a cycle,” said Mullet. “For awhile, we never saw heroin, for years, and now it’s coming back into play again.”

Mullet said reaching out and informing the public is vital to combating drugs.

“The most important thing is if people see something, contact law enforcement,” he said. “I think there’s always going to be a war on drugs. As long as there’s a demand, they’re going to supply it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.timesreporter.com/article/20141130/NEWS/141139972/10676/SPECIAL/?Start=2

 

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