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Washington County Couple Jailed for Methamphetamine Again

February 26, 2013 - A Washington County, VA., couple is being held without bond after Washington County, VA., Sheriff's deputies charged them twice within two weeks for the production of methamphetamine.

According to Sheriff Fred Newman, deputies charged William Eastridge, age 25, and his wife, Tammy Eastridge, age 22, with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine precursors after a search warrant was executed late Monday night, February 25, 2013, at the residence in the 28000 block of Poor Valley.

Both are being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon. A court date set for February 27, 2013, at 9:00 am for both individuals.

Clandestine Laboratory Officers from the Washington County Virginia Sheriff's Office, Abingdon Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration and Virginia State Police took part in executing the search warrant and processing the lab.

Both had previously been arrested on February 14, 2013, and charged with three counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

See Five Busted for Meth Lab Face 21 Felony Charges

Methamphetamine in Virginia

Methamphetamine poses a low but increasing threat to Virginia. Levels of availability and abuse have increased in the Shenandoah Valley, and the drug is an emerging threat to southwestern Virginia. Most of the methamphetamine available in Virginia is produced by Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and criminal groups using the hydriodic acid/red phosphorus method in high volume laboratories in Mexico and California. However, Virginia-based Caucasian criminal groups, OMGs, and local independent Caucasian dealers sometimes produce methamphetamine using the phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) and Birch reduction methods.

Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of most of the methamphetamine available in Virginia. These groups usually transport the drug from Mexico and southwestern states into Virginia using private automobiles, couriers aboard commercial airlines, and package delivery and express mail services. Mexican criminal groups, some based in Virginia, are the primary wholesale distributors of methamphetamine in the state, particularly in the Shenandoah Valley.

Mexican criminal groups and Caucasian local independent dealers are the principal retail distributors of methamphetamine produced in Mexico and southwestern states. OMGs, Caucasian criminal groups, and local independent dealers distribute methamphetamine produced in Virginia and other states at the retail level.

The level of methamphetamine abuse is low in Virginia. The number of treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities for methamphetamine abuse in Virginia fluctuated from 1995 to 2000. According to state substance abuse data, treatment admissions for methamphetamine abuse increased overall from 105 in 1995 to 192 in 1999.

Methamphetamine is abused at different rates throughout the state. According to responses to the NDIC National Drug Threat Survey 2001, law enforcement officials in Culpeper, near the Shenandoah Valley, report that methamphetamine is commonly abused in their jurisdiction. Law enforcement officials in Arlington, Bluefield, Lynchburg, Salem, Virginia Beach, Wytheville, and Warren and Chesterfield Counties report that methamphetamine is sometimes abused in those areas.

A more diverse population in Virginia now abuses methamphetamine. Historically, OMGs and blue-collar workers such as truck drivers were the predominant methamphetamine abusers. A new abuser population emerged in 2000 that includes white-collar professionals, business owners, and some members of the lower class. Teenagers and young adults, primarily in Northern Virginia, also are abusing methamphetamine, particularly crystal methamphetamine--a colorless, odorless form of smokable d-methamphetamine resembling glass fragments or ice shavings--in combination with other drugs at raves or nightclubs.

The potential for violence associated with methamphetamine distribution and abuse is significant. Individuals addicted to methamphetamine are unpredictable, experience feelings of fright and confusion, and will commit violent crimes to obtain the drug. Methamphetamine abusers are often paranoid and delusional and frequently arm themselves against perceived threats. Methamphetamine distributors sometimes commit violent crimes to protect their turf. In response to the NDIC National Gang Survey 2000, the Bristol Police Department reported that the South Side Bloods, a local street gang, distributes methamphetamine and has committed violent crimes such as assaults and home invasions in their area. Ref. US Dept. of Justice.

Methamphetamine in Tennessee

Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force - 1 877 TNN-Meth - www.rid-meth.org

Methamphetamine has been identified as the largest drug threat by most law enforcement professionals in the country. It is a highly addictive - meth destroys the addict, the homes where they manufacture their drug, children, and family members. It is harmful to everyone in the community where it is allowed to exist.

Known as "Ice", pure methamphetamine in this form can be almost transparent, making it look like ice. Meth became a popular drug because it can be manufactured with common household products, the "high" is more powerful and lasts longer than most drugs. Meth has also been heavily marketed by major drug trafficking organizations, and the addictive qualities of Meth are among the strongest of any known drug. In the late 1990's Tennessee became one of the largest producers of clandestine Meth labs in the country.

2010 is a Record Year for Meth Seizures in Tennessee.

The 2,082 Meth Lab Seizures in Tennessee during 2010 surpassed the previous record of 1,559 by over 520 labs! The prior record was achieved in 2004, before the Meth Free Tennessee Act and Combat Meth Act were passed on state and federal levels. There have been 11,149 meth lab seizures in Tennessee since 1999! There are a few reasons for the increase, but the primary reason for the increase in meth lab seizures is that criminals have adapted to the measures that were placed in effect by the legislation passed in 2005.

Smurf groups have developed throughout the state and nation. These loosely formed Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO's) are populated by meth addicts, prescription drug abusers, and other criminals. They use the Shake and Bake Manufacturing Method predominantly because of its ease, speed, and portability. Some of the largest of these local DTO's are sponsored by known gang members. Police efforts have also contributed to the increase. Law Enforcement officers increasingly use the Tennessee Meth Intelligence System (TMIS) to identify offenders and their associates. TMIS use is up 492% from 2007 to 2010!

The result of this use is not only meth seizures; it includes more arrests of offenders and more children rescued from the meth cooks. There have been 1,835 arrests reported so far for 2010. Established criminal activities and methods, coupled with increased law enforcement activity and community awareness will result in continued high seizure rates in Tennessee in 2011. Current projections are for seizures to level off at 2,376 meth lab related seizures in 2011.

Posted March 21, 2013

Crime List 2013 Tri-Cities Virginia-Tennessee

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