Meth-related drug charges increasing in southern Illinois
Southern Illinois is becoming a destination market for what most people consider a very dangerous and unpopular product. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, southern Illinois has become a popular destination for shipments of methamphetamine manufactured in Mexico. The DEA says that it has detected an increase in the sale and use of the illicit drug over the past 10 years. Local police officials note that drug crimes related to methamphetamine have likewise increased over the same period.
The increase in methamphetamine use is blamed on the ability of Mexican drug cartels to manufacture crystal meth that is both cheaper and higher quality than versions of the drug formerly sold in Belleville and neighboring communities. Apparently, the higher quality meth is easier to conceal, and so, according to police, more people are selling and using the drug. In addition, the cartels are selling the higher quality drug at the same price as the lower quality meth they formerly sold in the U.S.
The St. Clair County state’s attorney said that he expects St. Clair County to file close to 200 meth-related cases in 2017, whereas the county filed only 139 charges in 2016 and only 69 in 2013. Home meth labs have been driven out of business by the high quality drug from Mexico, and people have substituted purchasing and possessing meth in place of manufacturing of the drug.
With a potential crackdown on the way, anyone who is facing charges for possessing or selling methamphetamine may wish to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Regardless of how strong the prosecution’s evidence may appear, every suspect is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney can provide an evaluation of the evidence, identify any flaws in police procedure used to gather evidence, and estimate the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Meth is making a comeback in Southern Illinois, but most of it isn’t being made here,” Kara Berg, Sep. 18, 2017