Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Recent meth busts indicate drug felons unwelcome in city

November 24, 2004

It was somewhat alarming to learn that Eudora police don't think the two recent methamphetamine arrests in Eudora were related. One case, or even two related cases, could be dismissed as an anomaly. By contrast, two distinct cases imply more than one individual or group saw opportunity in Eudora.
It would be naÃive to believe there is no local market for the illegal substances those arrested are accused of producing and/or peddling. Although it never garnered the public attention of the urban crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, methampthetamine use and manufacture exploded in rural communities of the Midwest.
In the timeframe of a few years during the mid-1990s, Kansas and neighboring states went from busting a handful of meth labs to hundreds. The Midwest activity was enough to warrant the designation of the five-state region of Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking area. The result was shared law enforcement resources, increased awareness, and added training in detecting and taking down labs.
Much of that drug production was produced here for distribution elsewhere, easily reached by the interstates that criss-cross the five states. But it would be naÃive too to think that residents of Eudora weren't personally aware of the drug's popularity, either as an abuser or a family member who watched as it gained a hold on another family member.
The charges filed this month suggest the Eudora Police Department isn't naÃive and that perhaps those thought to be on the other side of the drug war are. The arrests should dispel the false notion that, because of its relative smallness, Eudora would offer a safe haven for the very dangerous production and distribution of meth. But it is important that all of us join law enforcement in vigilance against the menace through education and awareness.

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