Alabama law enforcement renews its focus on the drug trade

In much of the continental United States, opioid abuse and overdose deaths are making the biggest headlines. In Alabama, however, the use of methamphetamines (meth) is drawing more attention from law enforcement. A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official even called meth the number one problem in the state, saying that while opioids were "an acute problem," meth was a "systemic problem" that was deeply entrenched.

Much of the meth -- about 90% of what can be found in the state -- is coming in from Mexico by the hands of those involved with the Sinaloa drug cartel. The cartel has had a significant foothold in Alabama for some time. Police and other law enforcement officials recently had a chance, however, to clearly see what they're up against after Mexican officials managed to seize a multimillion-dollar meth lab run by the cartel. The discovery has focused renewed attention on the problem.

Just one lab -- out of many such labs -- is capable of producing 24,000 pounds of nearly pure meth every month for distribution and sale. Officials from the state were stunned at the sheer size of the operation of just one of these labs and recognize that today's drug cartels are run like large business enterprises. Now, law enforcement is aiming to take down any dealers they can find. One sheriff remarked to his deputies, "Let's get to work. We can chop the heads off the guys who are selling dope in our streets."

The renewed vigor that law enforcement has toward meth dealers should serve as a warning that officials are likely to treat any methamphetamine charges -- whether for possession or trafficking -- without leniency. If you've been arrested for meth, protect your legal rights and your future by speaking with an experienced defense attorney.

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