September 12, 2006

Meth Not Just A Homegrown Problem Anymore

Crapo, Senate Finance Committee hear concerns about border smuggling

Washington, DC â?? The longtime war on illegal methamphetamine is taking a new turn, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo; one that has moved it out of American backrooms and across our borders. Testimony today before the Senate Finance Committee, on which Crapo sits, clearly demonstrates that illegal smuggling of manufactured methamphetamine from Mexico and other countries vastly outpaces manufacturing within our borders and requires renewed attention. â??Meth is the number one illegal drug of choice in Idaho,â?? Crapo said. â??The common perception has been that this is a drug that is made in backrooms and garages. We have cracked down on the sale of over-the-counter cold medications that are used to manufacture meth and stepped up efforts to stop the manufacturing of it on rental properties in Idaho. Now we are finding more of this drug is coming across the U.S. border than we ever imagined.â??The Finance Committee heard testimony today from top officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Washington, DC, as well as the Office of Drug Interdiction with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office. Crapo noted the DEA has promoted the use of mobile enforcement teams, which have resulted in nearly 20,000 arrests nationwide in the past decade. According to the DEA, Mexican-based drug organizations control most of the trafficking in Idaho. "The influx of Crystal Methamphetamine being produced in Mexico and eventually smuggled into Idaho for distribution is of a great concern to our multi-agency drug enforcement task force here in Boise," said DEA Resident Agent in Charge Keith Weis. "Right now, we are placing a great emphasis on all of the state's agencies, whether federal, state or local, to continue coordinating investigative efforts in this particular area to maximize law enforcement's response to these multi-jurisdictional criminal organizations responsible for importing and distributing Crystal Methamphetamine.â?? â??The problem of imported meth can be especially difficult for rural areas like Idaho where we donâ??t have the manpower or resources to provide the 24-7 effort to stop the sale of these drugs,â?? Crapo said. â??This must be a problem we address on our borders. It makes for another good reason we need to improve security efforts along our northern and southern borders.â??# # #