Meth investigations and arrest are on the decline nationwide, despite evidence that the meth trade is flourishing. Many agencies have moved away from tactics that have been used for years to confront drug makers. The use of undercover agents, door-to-door canvassing and surveillance of pharmacies are all been used less.
According to the Crime Report and Associated Press, the steep cutbacks began after the federal government in February canceled a program that provided millions of dollars to help local agencies dispose of seized labs. Since then, the number of labs seized has plummeted by a third in some key meth-producing states and two-thirds in at least one, Alabama. The trend is almost certain to continue unless more states find a way to replace the federal money or to conduct cheaper cleanups, which typically cost $2,500 to $5,000 per lab.
“They’re not actively out there looking for it,” Tony Saucedo, meth enforcement director for Michigan State Police, told the Associated Press. “And the big issue is money. We have taken 10 steps backward.”
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