State officials and local law enforcement say that production of methamphetamine in Tennessee is decreasing, which is turning many addicts to imported meth from super labs in Mexico and the Southwest U.S.
Around half as many meth labs were seized in 2005 compared to a year before in Tennessee, partly because of a new law that restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in making meth.
While meth lab busts are down, officials say the decrease in addicts has not been as sharp, leaving a market for meth from other sources.
Lieutenant Tom Farmer is the Project Director of the South/East Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force. He says to meet demand, producers have simply sent more meth through drug traffic networks already in place.
“For the Mexican drug dealer to add one more type of drug that is marketable out there, ie., methamphetamine, it’s nothing more than while they’re taking a kilo of cocaine and 20 pounds of marijuana, it’s easy for them to turn around and take with them also, a pound or a kilo of methamphetamine.”
Farmer says those still cooking meth in homemade labs in Tennessee are increasingly turning to internet sites to buy their ingredients.