Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Agents Seize Georgia's Largest Methamphetamine Lab

Methamphetamine has made it to the East Coast of the United States. The Associated Press
reports here about a big lab seizure.

We need federal Congressional action to prevent the distribution of precursor chemicals. Some states have taken action and enacted new laws.

When will congress ACT?

Here is the story:

Police have seized one of the East Coast's largest methamphetamine labs, tucked away in the basement of a Smyrna home, federal officials said Monday.

Three illegal immigrants from Mexico were arrested for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. A detention hearing for Ignacio Cortes-Valencia, 24, Gustavo Lara-Murillo, 31, and Ramon Oseguera-Alanis, 34, was expected Tuesday in federal court, said Sherri Strange, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Atlanta.

"This is one of the largest labs to be seized in Georgia and it is the first lab of its nature to be seized in Georgia as well," Strange said.

Nearly 40 pounds of methamphetamine and 10 pounds of crystalized methamphetamine _ a pure form of the drug _ were seized. The drugs had a street value of $2.8 million, said Strange, who declined to elaborate on how the lab was financed or where the drugs were intended to be sold.

Police were alerted by complaints from witnesses that strong chemical odors _ often a sign of drug manufacturing _ were coming from the home. In addition, police were informed that two Hispanic men had purchased large amounts of Draino and muriatic acid _ common meth ingredients _ from a hardware store in Smyrna.

During a Thursday raid on the home, police seized 24 full trash bags of empty pseudoephedrine containers. Officials believe they once contained about 240,000 pills, also commonly used to create meth.

Previously, other "super-labs" _ those that can create at least 10 pounds of meth in a single day _ have been found in South Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Oregon and Washington. Most of the large-scale labs are found only in California and Mexico, authorities said.

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