An exclusive CBS 46 investigation has discovered Metro-Atlanta is the new national headquarters for America's methamphetamine trade. Records obtained by CBS 46 News show in 2005, Georgia had more meth seizures than the rest of the United States combined.
In an exclusive interview with CBS 46 News, Special Agent Sherri Strange from the US Drug Enforcement Agency said, "We have become the corporate headquarters for meth traffickers." The danger, she warns, is the highly addictive nature of this street drug. Strange continued, "The first time you use it, it sends your body into a tailspin and you are an addict."
Our investigation exposes a new and shocking source of the drug. Mom-and-Pop meth labs have been replaced by major trafficking organizations that are crossing the boarder and driving the drug into the Metro Atlanta Area. Special Agent Rusty Grant with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations confirmed those numbers. "Ninety five percent of the methamphetamine found in Georgia comes from Mexico and the West," he told us. Former meth dealer Sharon Edwards said the danger of making methamphetamine was "too risky," so drug dealers started buying Mexican Meth that was cheaper and higher in quality.
According to newly released DEA reports, more than 50% of all meth busts happened right here in our own back yard. Special Agent Strange told us, "That means we are hub central here. That means the Mexican traffickers have moved in." She continued, "If they can get it across the boarder and get it to Atlanta they feel that much more isolated from law enforcement."
Strange confirms these traffickers are smuggling massive quantities of meth across the border of Mexico, driving it to Atlanta, and stockpiling it in stash houses for distribution. It is then being sold as far south as Miami, and as far north as New York. How meth is getting here, Strange says, it not under the DEA's Control. "I would have to defer to the guys down on the boarder with what's really going on and why there's movement coming across the border."
"I don't think there is any question that we've got a battle before us regarding meth," admits Kenneth Smith with US Immigration & Customs Enforcement. But right now, no one we spoke to knows what the solution is.
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