ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Dougherty drug agents say they’re losing the battle against methamphetamines. They’ve seized three times as much meth this year as they did last year, and much of it may be coming from Mexico. Drug agents say a purer, cheaper form of meth has made its way to Southwest Georgia. And it could become a major epidemic.
A small packet of crystal meth that has a street value of a few hundred dollars could be the beginning to a new wave of narcotics. “It’s a trend that we’ve been talking about that would come. And not so much seeing more meth labs, but what we’re seeing is more meth product,” said Major Bill Berry, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit.
Agents say they’ve seen an increase in highly addictive drugs like ice stemming from Mexico. Last October, they seized 492 grams of the purer narcotic, the largest they’ve ever had at one time.
“Southwest Georgia has become a hub. Meth has become a very big product. North Georgia’s been eat up with this for several years now,” said Berry.
Berry estimates 75-to-80 percent of other crimes like theft, robberies and prostitution are connected to drugs as addicts look for ways to support their habit. And agents can’t keep up.
“It’s changing. It’s a simpler process to make. It’s easier to make. It’s quicker to make. And so it draws the attention. I mean you don’t spend but a few hundred dollars and you make a few thousand.”
While meth is becoming more common on the streets, Berry says another monster could soon move in.
“It’s become a huge problem. Not just meth, but everything. There is so many varieties and so many different accesses to get from pills to spice to heroine is gonna become a problem before long.”
He says increasing prices for pills could catapult meth use and a market for cheaper heroine. “People cannot afford to pay 30 and 40 bucks for a pill and all, when they can pay that much and get enough heroin for a day or so.”
And the public, he says, can help with the war on drugs by cooperating with law enforcement. Major Berry says agents seized one-Million-dollars of drugs off the streets last year. But he estimates it may only represent a fifth of what’s actually out there.
Officers urge the public to immediately report any unusual activity in their neighborhoods to authority. They say all tips will remain anonymous.