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May 30, 2008
Sylvester- Methamphetamine arrests in Georgia are up.
It's being manufactured in local communities, but drug agents say Atlanta has become a first level source for the supply of Mexican controlled methamphetamine entering the United States, and it's trickling down into Georgia communities. Friday law enforcement from across south Georgia met in Sylvester to continue to fight against the drug.
This is the damage a Meth Lab can do. It destroyed this trailer in TyTy Wednesday morning severely burning 38 year old Melvin Griffin sending him to the Burn Center in Augusta. It's evidence to local police that the war against Meth is heating up in south Georgia.
"Any time you have one in an adjoining county as close as it is to the county line in Worth, yes were worried about it because it affects all of us," said Capt. Tony Strenth, Sylvester Police.
While Wednesday's explosion, like the one earlier this month in Albany, are concerning at a class today in Sylvester the DEA says the number of labs they've seen in Georgia is down, a likely result of new laws.
"We've seen a significant decrease in the labs because of the restrictions on ephedrine products but on the other hand we're not out of the woods yet on this particular problem," said Harry Thornton, DEA.
That's because if dealers aren't making it themselves, drug agents say users can find it on the streets here in south Georgia, brought in from Mexico.
"Atlanta has become, a hub for the distribution of a lot of various types of dangerous drugs and narcotics," said Thornton.
Agents with the Mid-South Narcotics Task Force suspect Griffin was involved with a lab found in Worth County earlier this year. Without neighborhood support, law enforcement says they can't do it on their own. They want neighbors to be cautious of the following.
"Suspicious odors, an abundance of different household chemicals for example, you'll see a lot of people in and out of a particular home," said Thornton.
Friday first responders were also cautioned to call in the experts like the drug task force, GBI, or DEA when they suspect a lab.
No charges have been filed against Melvin Griffin. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.