At Least Seven Arrested on Meth Charges in January Alone

Staff Writer: Grace Dembickie

One of the fastest growing epidemics in our society is the effect that meth has had on today’s kids. With its decrease in price and increase in availability, the drug is growing in popularity exponentially among minors, specifically high school and middle school kids.

This should not be seen as a surprise though, given the amount of meth busts that now happen on a regular basis. On January 9 alone, there were two local drug busts. One of them was so big that law enforcement is cracking down on stressing the fact that meth is only getting more popular.

This specific meth bust was conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Newnan police, and the Sheriff’s Office of Coweta County. The trio stopped a few cars in a Coweta county parking lot on Bullsboro Drive and to their surprise, they found eleven pounds of meth and over two pounds of heroin. The search and seizure resulted in the arrests of four individuals, 26-year-old Ceirra Harrison, 32-year-old Sergio Juarez, 36-year-old Pedro Guzman, and 37-year-old Paula Garcia. All of these people involved were from Gwinnett County and all four of them are being charged with trafficking of methamphetamine and trafficking of heroin. Investigators say that this specific drug seizure was worth up to $300,000.

The second local bust that day ended in the seizure of about another two pounds of the same drug. After learning about how the two busts occurred in the same day, sophomore Avery Sweat commented, “I wonder what other busts will come from this statewide investigation.”

Grace local first picture

Photo credit: wsbtv.com
The eleven pounds of meth seized in Coweta county from January 9, 2020.

The real reason that meth is growing in popularity among young kids is the cost. At this point in time, the cost is only one fourth of what it used to be. It also can be cooked up, allowing for its distribution to other kids. This is also making it a new party drug. Investigators say that the high it gives off is quite similar to that of ecstasy and other drugs like it. Woodstock sophomore Natalia Kraft says of the incident, “This story really surprised me because I did not realize that something like this was so close to what we call home.”

A month before the Coweta County drug bust, another one occurred in Jackson county. Law enforcement also seized around $300,000 worth of meth from this specific incident. The outlier in this situation is that the meth was actually found liquified in paint. Investigators say the mixture was being cooked on the stove and then filtered out into buckets, which they found many of. One of the Sheriffs involved admitted she had never seen anything like this odd manner of trying to conceal a drug and its production.

The residence that was housing the production and distribution of this meth was stormed by the Jackson County Sheriff’s office as well as Homeland Security when the meth was found. The Drug Enforcement Administration has explained the danger that comes with extracting meth from a solvent as vapors can ignite.

Neighbors around this home were astounded at what was happening in the house right next to them. Woodstock senior Tess Cope expressed her own concern saying, “Often kids joke about drugs and drug use without really realizing that there are people locally charged and convicted of these crimes. Living in suburbia, meth use is kind of an outlandish concept but in reality, it is more common than expected.”

grace local second picture

Photo credit: AJC.com
Only some of the evidence collected in the drug bust where meth was being liquified in paint.

Unfortunately, it seems as though we are surrounded as a three month long undercover drug investigation in Eatonton ended on January 8 in the arrests of seven different individuals. This one also was centered around meth. While half an ounce was seized and is a pale amount in comparison to the Gwinnett arrests, the situation illustrates just how much of an issue this drug is quickly becoming.

Two of the suspects from this bust, Jason Lee Carithers of South Steel Bridge Road and Mindy Monique James of Rope Trail, had outstanding warrants. These warrants were based in Dekalb County and they were in fact for trafficking of meth. The people involved in this situation have prison ties, one of the suspects having just gotten out in October.

This has caused an even bigger issue as these criminals are not scared to make mistakes again, and this time they intend to possess as well as distribute the drugs they either buy or produce. The suspicious amount of activity coming out of the house lead investigators to realize what was happening and that the people involved had warrants for other drug charges, probation violations, and armed robberies.

grace local third picture

Photo credit: unionrecorder.com
Some of the evidence seized in the drug bust in Eatonton, Georgia.

These are only a few situations that have happened locally in the year 2020, and we are still in the first month of the year. We cannot expect the popularity of meth among children to diminish until we force it to diminish among adults, both convicted criminals and normal, civil looking individuals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: