Meth pours into Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia as liq­uid

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) In metham­phetamine’s seedy un­der­world, traf­fick­ers are dis­guis­ing the drug as a liq­uid to smug­gle it into the United States from Mex­ico.

Dis­solved in a so­lu­tion, it’s sealed in tequila bot­tles or plas­tic de­ter­gent con­tain­ers to fool bor­der agents and traf­fic of­fi­cers. Once deep in Cal­i­for­nia’s Cen­tral Val­ley, a na­tional dis­tri­bu­tion hub, meth cooks con­vert it into crys­tals the most sought-af­ter form on the street.

Tough polic­ing has driven the highly toxic su­per-labs south of the bor­der where meth is man­u­fac­tured out­side the sight of U.S. law en­force­ment, but the smaller con­ver­sion labs are pop­ping up do­mes­ti­cally in neigh­bor­hoods, such as one in Fresno where a house ex­ploded two years ago.

People in­side the home had sealed it tightly so the tale-tell fumes didn’t give them away.

“These guys, they don’t have Ph.D.s in chem­istry,” said Sgt. Matt Alexan­der of the Fresno County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. “They’re fo­cused on not get­ting caught.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say it’s im­pos­si­ble to know how much liq­uid meth crosses the bor­der, but agents in Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia say they have been see­ing more of it in the past few years.

AP Photo/PARC En­vi­ron­men­tal

In this March 2014 photo pro­vided by PARC En­vi­ron­men­tal, Jeff Davis, a haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als specialist for PARC En­vi­ron­men­tal, cleans up a meth con­ver­sion lab in­side a house in Madera, Calif. Au­thor­i­ties in Cal­i­for­nia’s Cen­tral Val­ley say that in re­cent years they have be­gun to see more meth dis­solved as liq­uid and put into tequila bot­tles or plas­tic de­ter­gent con­tain­ers to smug­gle it across the bor­der from Mex­ico. Once in the Cen­tral Val­ley, it is con­verted into crys­tals, it’s most sought-af­ter form on the street. In the seedy un­der­world of metham­phetamine, traf­fick­ers have turned to dis­guis­ing the drug as a liq­uid to boost chances of smug­gling it into the United States from Mex­ico with­out get­ting caught.

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