Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Crystal meth produced by Mexican drug cartels arrives in New England

 "MX" for Borderland Beat; The Salem News

New England is a region comprising six states in the northeastern United States

For years, as other regions dealt with the fallout from crystal methamphetamine, New England seemingly had been spared, instead grappling with a deadly opiate addiction epidemic. But law enforcement experts say that has started to change — and that the powerful stimulant is showing up on the North Shore (Massachusetts area) more frequently.

Late last month, two Salem men were arrested in a Park Street apartment on charges related to methamphetamine distribution and a Stoneham man was indicted by an Essex County grand jury on methamphetamine trafficking charges stemming from his arrest back in June at a Middleton golf course. Last February, a Salem woman was arrested by Beverly police with 1 1/2 ounces of the drug in her handbag outside a Beverly store. And last week, an Arlington man was arrested by federal agents who say he was selling large quantities of the drug while based out of a Malden senior housing complex.

Veteran Salem police detective Lt. Stephen Bona, who oversaw the Salem case, called the drug's increasing appearance in the area "scary."

"It's making inroads," said Jon DeLena, associate special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration New England field office. "I think it's solidified itself here in this region much more than anybody realizes."

But why?

When Frank Consolo, 36, was arrested following a search of his 34 Park St. apartment in Salem that turned up more than a quarter ounce of crystal meth, along with some cocaine, he told officers that he had started selling the drug to make ends meet after losing his job, according to a police report. He also admitted to having used the drug.

Another person in the apartment, Michael Hanan, 37, was also arrested on drug possession charges.

In the Middleton case, Lawrence Poor, 39, was arrested after police were called about suspicious activity at the Ferncroft golf course on June 14 and charged with trafficking of between 36 and 100 grams of methamphetamine. He was indicted late last month.

DeLena said there have been pockets of meth use in New England — small kitchen labs have been found in rural New Hampshire and Maine, and the drug has been popular on the club scene. But the amounts have generally been small and the potency of the drugs relatively modest compared with what has turned up lately in New England — potent concentrations in significant amounts.

Mexican cartel involvement

DeLena, a North Shore native who grew up in Revere, said much of what has shown up in the Northeast in recent years is being produced by the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, where investigators have found massive hidden labs. The more potent lab-made meth "blows the doors off" homemade versions or the drugs produced in clandestine labs, said DeLena.

The cartel is producing both fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opiate that has started replacing heroin as the drug of choice, and methamphetamine. Investigators believe that the synthetic nature of fentanyl and methamphetamine make them far more profitable to the cartel than heroin and cocaine, where a bad growing season or some other setback for poppy or coca plant crops cuts down those profits.

The chemicals needed to produce both fentanyl and methamphetamine are also cheap and easily available overseas, DeLena said. One lab uncovered by investigators in Mexico was producing seven tons of methamphetamine every three days, said DeLena.

"The cartels have decided that even though no one has really asked for it, they've decided to start pumping methamphetamine into the market," said DeLena. "They've created a market. They have better marketing than Fortune 500 companies."

The sales pitch: opioid users are told that the stimulant will "help you get up off your ass" after using heroin. Other targets are people who have gone off opiates, sometimes through medication assisted treatment, but who still want to get high.

"Traditionally, these two cultures were at opposite ends of the spectrum," said DeLena. Now it's not uncommon to find users with both fentanyl and methamphetamine. And the combination is also showing up in toxicology tests during autopsies, he said. The drugs, particularly methamphetamine, quickly take a toll on bodies — and on minds. Often, users end up using both.

"It starts to unravel pretty quickly," said DeLena. "We've done a really good job in our communities in treating people battling opiate addiction," said DeLena. "They've created the Angel program up there. Our police officers are almost social workers."

They're trained to bring in Narcan, to show compassion for addicts who overdose. "What's scary is if someone is using methamphetamine, it's a completely different type of person you're meeting on that call," said DeLena. "They may get there and be into the fight of their lives." During a recent meeting with police chiefs, two of them mentioned officers who were out injured due to violent confrontations with meth users.

In 2018, Matthew Rich, armed with a hypodermic syringe, went on a violent rampage in the parking lot of Beverly's Cummings Center, attempting to carjack several bystanders and attacking people as they tried to stop him. His lawyer said last year during his sentencing that Rich, who had struggled for years with heroin addiction, had unknowingly ingested methamphetamine.

Despite increasing concerns at the national level about methamphetamine, DeLena said he's had a tough time convincing some that it's time to pay attention. He led a group of local police chiefs on a trip to Mexico last year, where they got to see the extent and sophistication of the operation.

He said the cartel is also starting to distribute pills made to look like prescription drugs, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone, Xanax and Adderall, which instead contain fentanyl or meth. The customer base for Xanax and Adderall? High school and college kids.

"They're targeting children," said DeLena.

34 comments:

  1. Get ready! In a couple years there will be tweakers all over. I don't know about your homeless situation, y'all have pretty cold winters, but in california, probably about 70% of them are tweakers, scurrying around all night picking up cans, talking to themselves, living in large camps along the rivers, railroad tracks and such.
    As for your kids, the difference between the mafia dealers and the biker gangs that used to control meth is that the mafia has no compunction to only sell to adults-the kids will be trying it out at parties where before there was only pot and alcohol.
    I feel for you, wish it weren't so, but its probably gonna go Mad Max on you, Walking Dead zombies that mutter. Educate your children!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you a cop? Meth been in party’s long ago. Kids been doing it for years

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    2. All the Transients in California mostly From other States , they are not Locals Other states send them in greyhounds , i think This should get investigated

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    3. 9:17

      Your comment is 30 years too late. Tweakers have been all over and it's only getting worse.

      Delete
    4. California doesn't have a homeless problem it has a drug addict problem
      those homeless people you see on the streets of Los Angeles North Hollywood in the freeway pass Are Young I was driving by there a couple days ago ol boy was twisting the pookie pipe out in the open lol. and it just sad the people are powerless over their addiction
      but hey look on the bright side the governor of California and also mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti has all these drug addict homeless people living in hotels during the pandemic gee I wonder what they're doing lol

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    5. I heard they were kicking them out of hotels now because they keep finding himemade meth labs in the rooms

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    6. What many of you don't realize or experience in being homeless, the meth takes the chill off those cold nights.
      I've lived in garages with temps only 5 degrees warmer than the other side of the garage door. It's a battle to keep warm , stay out of the wind or rain , and try to keep an eye on your property before someone steals it.

      Delete
    7. 2:01 Homeless people get into thier own predictiment..some have mental issues, drug addicted needles everywhere, some can be helped and housed. Once upon a time.. Downtown Los Angeles, this guy in his 40s, while I was at work, he was clean and polite, asking where are there places to shower, advised him skid row area offers showers, which was 5 blocks away. Days passed other employees were giving him water, like a peagon once you feed him, he comes everyday, other employees complained, are you mother Theresa. Time went by, the homeless guy was sleeping a block away from my jobsite, the concrete stairs leading to a roadway was his bed. He never seemed my advice where they give showers, not did he seek housing or help. We all have our own issues to worry about in life.
      Lastly after two months he was not there anymore.

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    8. How uncompassionate you seem. He probably had a mental illness. and no, the afflicted do not always present themselves as being ill. Even addicts have a story. many are vets. Many have disabilities, many were abused children, many self medicate for a plethora of reason. and yes some chase the high for the high but those are in the minority.

      The mentally ill ppeople in our society have few resources.
      secondly a large influx of run away children live in the streets prostitute themslves self medicate to numb the pain of the past, or to cloud the reality of life they live to survive. many ran from abuse.

      "like a pigeon once you feed him...." what a disgusting slef righteous remark! as is the ridicule by low life employees chiding those with compassion.

      shame on all of you

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    9. Marc. If that is how you view homelessness how do you view your life? Cool, homeless people brought it upon themselves.Not. What do you,as an able minded and bodied man do? Who do you help, being that you are able. What purpose do you serve for anything other than yourself? The new cheap dope is meant for families like yours. Then you can say that you helped create by being such a piece of mierda.

      Delete
  2. Amazing
    The percentage of adults who cannot handle reality. At first it was alcohol and pot. It seems like now a person has to get near comatose in order to "relax". But it comes with the tare of killing innocent people. Not just a few. But thousands including babies and children. It's frightening.

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    Replies
    1. This is nothing new. Humans have been obsessed with altered states of consciousness since the dawn of time. You should go listen to Dan Carlin’s podcast about drugs, and what a large part they’ve continuously played throughout human history. The only difference now this past 100ish years is we’ve criminalized use. Thinking we should be able to tell people what they can and can’t put in their body. Doing this has brought shame, which just causes drug abuse to get worse.

      Phelpso

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    2. 754 Marcus Aurelius was one of the “ good Roman emporers” not seen as crazy but good for the people. His quotes and ideas on stoicism as a way of life are possibly a way to live. Living in shame is an idea or feeling. Nothing wrong with either but creates negativity. Stoicism is about self restraint duty and respect for others.
      Marcus Aurelius was not a Christian at first and maybe never was. But he did begin to bel Eli eve in Christian prayer. I think he saw more to life than addiction and laziness. His book of meditation speaks of that and the positive outlook towards a life as a good thing . ...
      It’s a good read,
      Now I’ll listen to Dan Carlin lol.
      Jesús Cristo tú gotta believe

      GC

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  3. Don’t know what the hell they smoking but that’s is not meth

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  4. That’s y I left California.. love it but too many problems tweaks everywhere liberals. See what happens keep it up defund cops I don’t like them myself but we need to maintain order. I believe the cops and military need a massive overhaul too many criminals in each.

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  5. And THE CHEMICAL to make this drug is straight FROM China... 😃

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  6. USA failed state.

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  7. Is it easier to blame it on the mexicans

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  8. Been saying for years that meth was not a thing in the northeast. Looks like that change. Perfect storm of availability, economic crisis, lockdowns, and people having a rough time.

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  9. Nothing but fake rx pills, and bullshit ecstasy that has no MDMA just pressed meth coming from Mexico. The cartels have mastered the mass production but the quality is hype from the govt. The hillbilly crank was better.

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  10. Ya im sure that guy had no idea the shards he was doing wasnt meth

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  11. You can find methamphetamine anywhere in this country where Mexicans are and that's just about everywhere and there's crap about chemicals being available overseas why don't you just say China cuz that's where it's coming from there was a bust at the Arizona border of 563 lb of methamphetamine even the feds valued it at $1,000 a pound that is crazy cheap good pot is worth more!!

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  12. I predicted this a long time ago to one of my boys from Detroit. He said all they mess with is Dog Food. I said, give it 5 years. Ha ha.

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  13. Go to any apartment complex in the US small town big city
    There all the land of the lost.
    Theres older generation of denial and the newer of oblivion.
    I speak with a little bit of knowledge being a 1% in the late 60's to the 70's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dont know about the rest of the US but i know that bs is not plentiful in the housing projects of nyc and please dont tell me it is but i just havent seen it when i live here and you probably dont.

      Delete
  14. We all know Drugs have gotton stronger
    more pure more potent
    Its not the same in the 1980 70 60
    plus we had jobs
    think of all Millions More people we have population cotrol should have been
    delt with
    Add in internet
    This world is shit ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6:16 well said,
      thanks for coming and goodbye!!!
      Please turn off the lights before you go away and let the cops or EMTS know before your body stinks the whole neighborhood

      Delete
  15. Yea these drug routes are in NE Az
    they arent taking I 40 or I 10 as much
    they drive these little cars that everyone has and drive arcoss our state causeing havoc..
    I see them I have pics of 5 cars all from back there they speed have no manners yell at construction zone workers Throw lit cigerretts out windows
    all above is how they will get caught
    cunts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THE DRIVERS YOU DESCRIBE IS LIKE 75% OF AMERICA....

      Delete
  16. We all know Drugs have gotton stronger
    more pure more potent
    Its not the same in the 1980 70 60
    plus we had jobs
    think of all Millions More people we have population cotrol should have been
    delt with
    Add in internet
    This world is shit ...

    ReplyDelete
  17. My neighborhood (Maryvale) in Phoenix is flooded with young pill head users it's so sad

    ReplyDelete

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