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GBI branch seizes over 20 pounds of meth

Meth most popular drug circulating, GBI says
Video from WALB
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:32 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - This year, southwest Georgia saw its largest methamphetamine seizure ever.

The Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (RDEO) took 22 pounds of meth off the streets. Southwestern RDEO is a branch of the Georgia Burea of Investigation (GBI) specifically focused on drugs.

Special Agent in Charge Eric Schwalls said the most popular drug they’re seeing circulate right now is methamphetamine. Schwalls said that’s because it’s cheap and easier to get.

Dougherty County commissioners approved a little more than $27,000 for the regional GBI office in Albany. This is money that will go toward helping with investigations.

They didn’t want to give out much information, but it will go toward helping them extract electronic data.

Special Agent in Charge Eric Schwalls said the most popular drug they’re seeing circulate right...
Special Agent in Charge Eric Schwalls said the most popular drug they’re seeing circulate right now is methamphetamine. (Dougherty County Government)

Over the last year, the branch made 190 cases, 81 of those were made in Dougherty County.

They work in 42 counties across southwest Georgia and law enforcement when jurisdiction gets in the way.

”Drugs don’t have boundaries. Law enforcement has jurisdictions, has boundaries. GBI can operate statewide. We also work closely with departments over in Alabama and Florida, so if (drugs go) across those lines, we’ll know where it’s going. We’ve dealt with cases out of Texas, all the way to California,” said Schwalls.

Schwalls said they’ve seen Albany be a distributor to other smaller counties, but in many cases, people will come and sell in Albany because it’s a larger market.

This year, the total amount of drugs taken off the streets in southwest Georgia was valued at $12.5 million.

Schwalls said some of the most popular drugs right now are heroin, meth and cocaine.

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