Is North Kitsap’s Meth Supply Waning?

You may recall the arrest of a 44-year-old North Kitsap man the other day, in which drug detectives used an operative to tell him pseudoephedrine pills to out his alleged meth cooking operation.


In the statement for his arrest, West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team detectives note that they’d been told by their operative that “methamphetamine was difficult for (the 44-year-old) to get due to some recent arrests of local meth dealers.” They added that “he was planning to just manufacture some of his own.”

It’s no secret that the black market for drugs runs wide and deep. But could the above statement be true?

First things first: a little background on law enforcement’s recent history with meth. While “mom and pop” meth labs once reigned prolific around the turn of the century, things have clearly changed — they’ve nearly all been replaced by importing the drug.

Here’s a story I wrote in January 2006 that explains why:

The reason for that, according to (Enforcement Team Sgt. Carlos) Rodriguez and backed up by federal statistics, is a state law that took effect in 2005 and 2006, combined with a more steady supply coming from “superlabs” — capable of producing far more meth — in foreign countries like Mexico.

Washington’s methamphetamine precursor law made sellers of pseudoephedrine products, like decongestant medicines, store it behind counters and in locked cabinets. Buyers would also be listed in a “pseudo-log” with the swipe of a driver’s license, so law enforcement knew who was making the purchases. Sales limits were also established.

Nowadays, we do have our share of meth labs, but not many (Read two explosive examples here and here).

So if this 44-year-old was really turning to cooking, as the operative said, does that really mean that supply from trafficking is dwindling?

The enforcement team has made some meth-dealing arrests in the north end recently, detectives say, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is working a case in which pound quantities of meth heading to the north end were interrupted. That case has not yet been formally publicized because the feds still have work to do on it, I’m told.

But given those facts, the possibility of waning meth in NK is not entirely out of the question.

One thing is certain, though: drug detectives don’t expect it to last. Black markets are no different than their legal counterparts in that where there’s demand, supply will find its way.

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