Oregon County is about the same as any other community in this country with regard to drug crimes and addictions. You will find some who believe we should legalize illegal drugs and you will find others who feel we should have more authority to eliminate the problem. Here is some of the latest area information for you to consider:
a. Often referred to as Meth, Speed, Ice, Dope, Crystal, Go Fast, and many others.
b. Extremely addictive and near the top of abused drugs in our area.
c. Easily manufactured by drug users, dealers, and manufacturers.
d. Dangerous to make, product and process known to cause various cancers and other health problems.
e. Most frequently snorted, smoked, injected, and occasionally ingested through drinks or food.
f. Requirement in manufacturing process is psudeodephdrine, commonly sold in certain cold medicines at your pharmacy.
g. Local cooks have networks of people who will travel many miles to obtain precursors such as the cold tablets even with the current pharmacy laws.
h. Many area people prefer the ICE or extremely high quality methamphetamine typically manufactured in Mexico or by the Mexican Drug Cartels and Drug Trafficking Organizations in large labs where multiple pounds of ICE are produced in one cook.
i. Typically sold by the ¼ gram, ½ gram, gram, 8 –ball (3 ½ grams), ¼ ounce or even ounce. A gram of meth will easily sell for $100. Keep in mind there are 28 grams in one ounce.
j. We have shared information with various agencies on local people who frequently travel to Springfield, Jonesboro, St. Louis, Batesville, Kansas City, and St. Louis to purchase larger quantities of methamphetamine or ICE to sell and/or use.
k. When you hear about Meth-Mouth or see the rotten teeth of meth users. This is seen more frequently from users who smoke methamphetamine then ingest it in other ways.
l. Many times meth users report only smoking marijuana or taking certain medications to come down off the meth highs and deal with the withdrawing symptoms of the drug.
m. Meth will often keep the user up for long periods of time, even several days. Irrational and violent behavior is associated with the drug use. When you see someone high on methamphetamine and drinking alcoholic beverages to excess you will notice their actions and emotions seem to be on a roller coaster; being quick highs and lows with their behavior.
2. Prescription Drug Abuse:
a. Too many people are known to abuse prescription medications. Some report doing so as they believe the prescription medications are safer for people to use and abuse as they are made in factories. Others say it is okay since they were prescribed by a physician. Others report it being much easier to obtain prescription pills and possess or use then drugs which are illegal to possess at any level.
b. We are often asked what prescription medications users want most. The problem is there are so many types which are abused, sold, traded, and shared it is hard list them all or their street names. Dilaudid for example is a Schedule II controlled substance. It is often described by illegal users as synthetic heroin and is easily sold for on the street for upwards of $10.00 per dose. Oxycontin is a potent pain killer and we have made past buys of this drug for $25.00 per capsule. There are many common prescription drugs and the generics which are sought after by prescription abusers. We often hear of Xanax, any pain killer, any narcotic, any psychotic medication, even morphine and other pain patches being sought after by users and dealers.
c. We have conducted investigations of people who use Medicaid and travel Missouri to see a “Doctor Feel Good” and get their prescriptions called into several different pharmacies. The people involved are either making money or supporting their personal drug habit. Think about it, if you get a prescription of 120 capsules of an Opiate based pain killer, you can easily sell these for anywhere from $5.00 to $25.00 each. Considering what little you have paid for it; that can quickly become a significant amount of money.
d. Many people who abuse prescription drugs often have several friends or even relatives who are into the same activity. During interviews many have told us how they know when certain people get their prescriptions filled and how many they will sell. We have even seen some who have basically a flow chart on their cell phone or calendar showing what week who will have what and what they will or wont share/sell/or trade.
e. It is very common to see people who abuse prescription medications to introduce the drug into their body through syringes. They have an art of melting down the pills and shooting the product into their veins for an instant high.
f. We have made cases of people selling the prescription drugs to collect enough cash to run to the city and purchase an ounce of methamphetamine. They return to this area and sell a majority of the meth or ICE and repeat this activity each month.
a. Marijuana is frequently called Weed, Grass, Smoke, or Green. Locally grown marijuana typically sells for $40 per ¼ ounce (described as a sandwich baggie and inch or so deep with marijuana). Ounces will go for as little as $100 and pounds will quickly sell for $1,000.
b. Marijuana is frequently grown, sold, traded, and used in Missouri. We see people from Middle School to Senior Citizens who are involved in the use of marijuana. Most agree it can be a “Gateway” drug for people to be in the situation to experiment with other drugs of abuse.
c. The Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO’s) in Mexico are known for growing and smuggling thousands of pounds of the product into the United States each month.
d. It is becoming more common for the Mexican Drug Cartels to have people with large in-door and outside Marijuana growing operations in the country. Many times these groups are well armed and will violently protect their crop.
e. More often law enforcement is finding huge in-door growing operations in the United States and Canada. Often these large in-door grows produce an extremely high quality of marijuana which often sells for up to $500 an ounce! A lot of the in-door grow operations are in California, Arizona, and even Nevada.
f. You will find people on both sides of the issue if the government should legalize marijuana or not. Some states have taken steps to have marijuana used for medical reasons and some have basically decriminalized possession of small quantities of marijuana. In my opinion if marijuana were to be legalized and the government taxed the product we would still be spending time and resources in going after the marijuana on the black market and those who circumvent paying taxes on the drug. Although I hope my children follow my lead and never use the drug, I believe that we will see marijuana being further decriminalized during this decade.
a. MDMA or Ecstasy (3-4-methylenedioxymethampheta-mine) is a synthetic drug with amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties. It is classified as a stimulant and is a Schedule I drug.
b. Ecstasy is known occasionally to be sold and distributed in our area. We often hear about it days after the fact after users have discussed having used the drug with others.
5. Other Drugs of Choice:
a. We have made arrests on people in possession or who have ingested LCD or Hallucinogenic Mushrooms, other types of pills, synthetic drugs, heroin, opium, bath salts, various imitation drugs, and K-2.
b. At times it seems as if there is no end to the information which we obtain at our office and share with many other agencies.
7. Dealer and Other Information:
a. Sellers are typically one of two types of people; those who are involved strictly wanting to make money and those who are involved to support their habit and offset expenses. Neither takes into account they are selling or distributing death and destructive behavior to all involved.
b. We have arrested marijuana dealers who were responsible for moving large amounts of marijuana through Oregon County.
c. We have interviewed and arrested people involved in methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription sales who were making daily trips to Springfield and St. Louis to pickup their supply from large dealers. They would return here and travel about the county and often times selling their products in business parking lots.
d. We have helped on investigations where area people were deeply involved in large scale methamphetamine sales. It is amazing how large of quantity of drugs they moved in our area over a period of time. Fortunately some of these people are still in the Federal Prison system.
e. Some ask why people want to deal drugs and risk going to prison. Think about it, this is tax free, not a minimum wage job, no education required, and no drug tests to pass for your employer. They have no deadlines for work, could care less about their customers, and follow no schedule. Granted the time in jail would not be fun for most of us but to some it is only a free vacation with minimal time in prison regardless of the sentence.
f. When working drug investigations officers often see how these people are constantly on the go and discussing illegal drugs and activities with their associates. Many seem to spend all day and night working their drug activities by either collecting supplies to manufacture, talking to new clients or suppliers texting scores of people on how much and when they want more dope. We often see drug dealers switching cell phones weekly due to their worries big brother is watching or listening. We've seen parents spending their rent and child support or trading food stamp vouchers for their drug of choice.
g. Drugs and Illegal Money will always be made as long as there is a demand for the supply in the United States. This is an issue in every town, county, and state in this country. The trend is quickly heading toward additional danger since the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations are continually trying to be involved in all areas of the drug trade. There are members of the Mexican Drug Cartels in every major city and state in our nation. I am worried the violence we see on television will only advance to north of the border in the near future. Many of the people who use ICE and other illegal drugs are unintentionally contributing to the violence in Mexico.
h. You can help by reporting illegal activities to your local law enforcement. Even anonymous tips have paid huge dividends with many of our investigations over the years.
i. You can help your children and grandchildren most by frequently talking with them. Learn about their activities, friends, and who they run around with. Continually steer them in the right direction. The more we communicate with our young people the better chance they have of avoiding bad choices. Today is the perfect time to start!