A big week for meth in the North Country

Correction: In the original post on April 10, we misidentified the location of a meth-related arrest. The arrest was in Saranac Lake, not Gabriels. The error is corrected below. 

Hello! So apparently it’s been a big week for methamphetamine in the North Country, or at least for arrests on meth charges. On Tuesday, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports, a Gabriels man was arrested when police pulled him over at about 7 in the morning, for not having a front license plate. They smelled pot and alcohol and asked him if he had any of the former. The man admitted he did, but apparently passed the police the wrong baggie: This one contained three 1-gram packages of meth.

In a move that I can’t believe I’m writing about rather then seeing on “Cops,” he then tried to grab the bag back and run away, but instead he was arrested and searched (at which time the police found the marijuana he’d been holding, as well.) There’s more on the charges he’s facing in the paper.

This is the first meth arrest Gabriels Saranac Lake has had in the last few years, village police chief Bruce Nason told the paper, but there have been several in nearby Clinton over the last few weeks, and, Nason is quoted as saying, “it looks like it’s moving our way, unfortunately.”

In fact the Clinton County town of Altona saw two arrests on Tuesday when police raided a home that they suspected contained a meth lab run by a husband and wife team. That’s according to the Plattsburgh Press Republican. That investigation is ongoing, but it’s not a small one: According to the paper,

The Adirondack Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection Border Patrol were among those investigating, with Altona Volunteer Fire Department standing by at the location.

Oh, and while we’re talking meth, the other day the Press Republican reported (in a story about several other drug arrests in the area) that the Clinton County Assistant DA, Douglas Collyer, had announced a standard sentence for first-time offenders caught making meth: It’s four and a half years.

 

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32 Comments on “A big week for meth in the North Country”

  1. Crime and Justice says:

    One wonders what the increase in policing has to do with the apparent frequency of these arrests. I suspect everything.

    Is the Adirondack Drug Task Force different from the Northern New York Drug Task Force? I wonder just how many layers of police we have here.

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  2. Pete Klein says:

    One wonders who wants Meth.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. It's Still All Bush's Fault says:

    It does give one the ability to work from home. Does it fall into the category of a “cottage industry”?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Buddy says:

    I’m glad arrests are being made , now if we could only get The DA’s to punish these folks in a manner that would make them and their friends get out of the business, for fear of the punishment.

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  5. Crime and Justice says:

    Yeah, ’cause that works:

    http://prisontime.org/

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  6. The Original Larry says:

    Sadly, nobody leaves the drug business for fear of punishment. What’s needed is an effort similar to that which has reduced cigarette smoking from a common, pervasive habit to a fringe activity practiced mainly by uneducated, rebellious or foolhardy types.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. newt says:

    I think they should all get 20 to life, like Rockefeller did with crack.

    That’ll straighten things out!

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  8. Gary says:

    Would they be some of the “non-violent” drug criminals that Brian and Natasha have been focusing on in their prison series?

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  9. tootightmike says:

    I’m with Pete on this one. Why would anyone want a drug that’s made out of toxic chemicals and cleaning fluids? The legalization of marijuana could have gone a long way toward turning this new fleet of amateur chemists into farmers.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  10. mervel says:

    Because speed is a better high than pot for many people. I am not fully against legalization of pot, but we should have no illusions that meth would somehow decrease or heroin would decrease etc, if pot were legalized.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. mervel says:

    I mean the argument could be if we legalize 100 proof vodka people would not need to use pot or meth.

    People seek out the thrill of any new high available.

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  12. newt says:

    Pot should be legalized for adults, and taxed. Mostly like booze. But adults who are found smoke pot around their kids should be subject to legal intervention, and pot users could suffer other sanctions (not tolerated in military, as now, public safety jobs, others). This would probably result in a decline of pot use, as in Holland, where it is legal, and less smoked than in the US.

    Drugs that obviously make people dangerous, are addictive, or obviously self-destructive to health, should be sanctioned, but mostly from a mental health, not criminal, angle.

    Meth sounds like that latter. I know it rots users’ teeth real fast, real good, . Easy way to pick them out, I’m told.

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  13. Peter Hahn says:

    Meth, supposedly, is one of the worst drugs in terms of damage to ones brain. It evidently non-specifically hits all the receptors, and burns them out eventually.

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  14. Walker says:

    “But adults who are found smoke pot around their kids should be subject to legal intervention…”

    Would you do the same with alcohol?

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. Paul says:

    ” What’s needed is an effort similar to that which has reduced cigarette smoking from a common, pervasive habit to a fringe activity practiced mainly by uneducated, rebellious or foolhardy types.”

    Since when is cigarette smoking a “fringe activity”? Last I heard there were something like 50 million Americans that smoke, and currently the number is on the rise.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  16. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    The Meth issue is like any other drug problem, it needs to be addressed from a health care perspective and not a legal one. Are users of the drug Alcohol incarcerated for simple usage? Are users of Nicotine incarcerated for simple use? Two drugs, by the way, that kill far more Americans per year than Cocaine, Heroin, and yes, Meth, combined.

    Part of the insanity of our “war on drugs” is the obvious inconsistency with which we prohibit some from being used by otherwise law abiding adults while with others we arrest you, prosecute you and then incarcerate you. Addiction is addiction is addiction and should be treated consistently by health care experts and not criminal justice professionals.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  17. The Original Larry says:

    “Since when is cigarette smoking a “fringe activity”? ”

    Since it stopped being socially acceptable and allowed in public places and since it’s consequences became widely accepted. 50M uneducated, rebellious or foolhardy types doesn’t validate anything.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  18. Mervel says:

    I think you can do things across the board to reduce usage of all drugs. We need easier and more accurate ways to test for drugs for example. Employers have a vested interest in not hiring people who are not using drugs. So yeah legalize pot or other drugs, but employer, colleges, schools, banks, etc would still have the option of drug testing to weed out anyone who is using drugs from partaking of a variety of social and work related community resources.

    You have a right to use drugs but employers have a right to not hire you or to deny you credit or to deny you health service, it would be much more effective in my mind than throwing random people who happen to get caught in jail.

    Plus you would have to increase the availability and access to re-hab, right now it is very limited and very expensive. We need a big investment in this area.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  19. The Original Larry says:

    So, legalize marijuana but enable discrimination against those who use it? That’s really trying to have it both ways! It never works.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Pete Klein says:

    Couple of points. 100 proof vodka or 100 proof anything is 50% alcohol.
    Best rum I ever had was 100 proof Jamaican rum. Took me a year to drink a bottle and it was the best tooth ache med I ever used.
    I just love those who smear anyone who smokes cigarettes and would like to deprive them of their right to smoke but expect to have their right to get drunk, buy as many assault weapons as they feel like and never undergo a background check.
    By the way, ever give much thought to the naming of the Bushmaster? Think of the word master and what it means. Then think of the word bush and how it relates to the word Master.

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  21. The Original Larry says:

    On the off chance you’re talking about me, I never said I wanted to deprive people of the right to smoke.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. Paul says:

    “Since it stopped being socially acceptable and allowed in public places and since it’s consequences became widely accepted. 50M uneducated, rebellious or foolhardy types doesn’t validate anything.”

    I was just saying that 50 million people or almost 20% of the US population, despite their personal characteristics, isn’t what I would call a fringe activity. It is lots and lots of people.

    It is about 4 times the number of people who go hunting each year in the US. You must consider that to really be a fringe activity.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  23. newt says:

    Re pot smoking around kids.

    1. Parents who abuse alcohol around their kids are also subject to legal intervention.

    2. I have never heard of a secondary alcohol effect. I don’t know how potent secondary dope smoke is, but I doubt that it is good.

    3. When I picture a family group with mom, dad, and friends having a beer or glass of wine in moderation with kids having kid drinks, it seems pretty wholesome.
    When I picture a similar family scene, but with mom, dad, and friends passing a pipe with kids looking on, it seems pretty sick.
    Maybe that’s just me.

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  24. Anyone who doesn’t believe in Darwinism should read this article.

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  25. newt says:

    Are tweekers mostly this dumb, or only unfit ones who don’t get the license plate and taillight thing being selected out? Of course, this guy may only have been a customer.
    No Walter White he.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. Paul says:

    “3. When I picture a family group with mom, dad, and friends having a beer or glass of wine in moderation with kids having kid drinks, it seems pretty wholesome.
    When I picture a similar family scene, but with mom, dad, and friends passing a pipe with kids looking on, it seems pretty sick.”

    Newt, I tend to agree but I wonder what you and I would think about this if the drinking scene you describe was playing out during prohibition when drinking was illegal and people were telling us that drinking was wrecking families?

    Just interesting to think about.

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  27. Mervel says:

    I think smoking inside a house or a car with little kids around is not good either.

    But this is a matter of degree, meth is always bad there is nothing good about it, except the high, which according to those who I know who have been through it and are now clean; is the best feeling they have ever had.

    We pay the price for the old attitude, if it feels good do it. When we reject the very idea of self-restraint and moderation and purity, we lose something as a society and a culture. Many people from many different walks of life get hooked on this stuff, it is not just the stereotype.

    I don’t know the answer, this is stuff you can make in your kitchen.

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  28. newt says:

    Paul-

    Since a lot of the country, mostly rural Protestants, supported Prohibition at it’s outset, I suspect those folks would be disgusted by the scene.

    But people like my folks who grew up in big cities would have no problem with it. My Dad lived in Chicago during the Twenties and early thirties, and admitted to not only drinking his fair share, but smoking pot, once at a party with Duke Ellington. He got away from the pot, but the booze habit stayed with him all his life in a big way. Sometimes I wonder if Prohibition got more people into alcoholism than it ever deterred.

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  29. Mervel says:

    I am sure somewhere there are people working on the topic, but why do some societies have so much trouble with drugs and alcohol and others do not? Why is Russia for example essentially drinking it’s males to death? Why is some of continental Europe more moderate than the US, not just in drug and alcohol use, but also in food etc.?

    It seems like we try to use law to solve what is a cultural issue, but then again laws are important and a part of the culture also.

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  30. Marlo Stanfield says:

    Addiction might be addiction, but every drug and every addiction isn’t the same. It’s not hypocrisy to draw distinctions between substances, it’s sensible public policy.

    Sure, alcohol kills millions more people than meth, but alcohol is also used by the large majority of the population, and for most of them without too many serious issues resulting. Meth isn’t used by nearly as many people — and if it were, it would be destroying far, far more lives than alcohol is. How many social meth or crack smokers, or casual heroin users do you know? Not many, except if they’re young people just starting out with hard drugs; some of them will get over it fairly quickly, others will have serious, possibly deadly problems as a result. Almost none of them grow up to be functioning adults who just like to do a bit of heroin to relax with their friends now and again.

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  31. mervel says:

    Yes I agree, these drugs are not the same and some are much more damaging than others.

    I don’t know any casual heroin users, however I think we would be surprised by the number of cocaine users, meth users, and particularly narcotics users (Vicodin etc) there are who are not on the verge of total breakdown, but hold jobs, they are not doing great but they are using this stuff on the weekends.

    I don’t know any long term meth users who have not gone off the rails though at some point.

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  32. mervel says:

    Its mainly just sad.

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