Distribution of methamphetamine is a growing concern in Lowndes county

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Narcotics agents with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office investigate a number of illegal-drug operations each month—often leading to the arrests of traffickers across the area.

The distribution of methamphetamine has been a concern in our area for quite some time.

And officers are working to rid the community of the harmful drug.

All it takes is one time to become addicted.

The demand for meth and other controlled substances is leaving many to search for the drug from suppliers or manufacturing it themselves.

“Methamphetamine is one of the most addicting drugs that we’ve ever seen hit the streets,” said Hawkins.

Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins said concern is growing in his department and in the community about the increasing string of drug-related arrests.

And since January, WCBI has reported an alarming number of drug busts across the county.

“We make a lot of arrests that go unnoticed. The commonly term used on the type of meth is ice methamphetamine,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins said the substance is most likely brought into Mississippi by outside suppliers and then distributed to clients.

Back in 2010, there were 769 meth labs in the state.

” It is heartbreaking. It is discouraging that we have to go out here over and over again to arrest, a lot of times, the same people,” said Hawkins.

Although the number has declined over the years, it doesn’t exactly mean homemade labs are non-existent.

“Since the changing of the legislation and putting pseudoephedrine back across the counter, we have seen some labs here in Lowndes County but we haven’t seen a big uptick in manufacturing meth,” said Hawkins.

When Hawkins supervised the methamphetamine program with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, he said Lowndes County ranked as one of the highest areas to distribute the drug.

“We had a lot of activity here, based on people coming from Alabama over to Mississippi buying the ingredients,” said Hawkins.

And to keep officers safe during lab recovery, he’s training them of how to safe handle substances.

Why is it important for deputies to see what a mock methamphetamine lab looks like?

” In this class, we show them the different chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process. When you start mixing these chemicals together, that’s when they becomes hazardous,” said Hawkins.

” We can’t send everybody to jail that has a problem or makes a bad decision. But, if we’re here to help those people to correct those problems, that’s what it’s all about,” said Hawkins.

The department is working with those who may are struggling with addiction.

Drug and education programs are available for citizens.

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