Shelby County drug agents make 3 meth trafficking arrests in 7 days

COLUMBIANA, Ala. (WIAT) — Drug agents in Shelby County continue to go after methamphetamine dealers and have made three trafficking arrests in the past week.

Officials are looking into the possibility that the drugs may have ties to cartels in Mexico.

The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force recently intercepted a package containing more than 14 pounds of methamphetamine bound for Shelby County.

“That’s roughly over 6,000 drug deals off the street, so that is a sizable impact,” said Lt. Clay Hammac with the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Investigators estimate the street value of the bust was around $240,000.

While it may appear that there is an increase in drug activity around the Birmingham metro area, Hammac attributes to problems to more demand.

“Whenever you have an increase in demand, you have an increase in supply. The product is simply going to meet the needs of those who are reaching out to their local dealers,” said Hammac.

Wednesday, drug agents arrested two others for meth trafficking allegations..

Cody Dewayne Talton, 27, from Columbiana, was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine during a raid Wednesday near Shelby County Road 446.

In an unrelated case, authorities also arrested Erica Danielle Garner, 31, from Wilsonville, on a charge of trafficking methamphetamine.

While opioids like heroin and prescription pills continue to be the focus for drug agents and counselors, experts warn other substances like meth continue to pose a danger.

“As opiates are cracked down more and more, you have the access for meth to kind of come in and fill those voids,” said Sandor Cheka, Executive Director of the Addiction Prevention Coalition.

Cheka said APC works alongside law enforcement to combat abuse with education.

“We do a lot of work with parents and high schools in the community to get them the information they need to know about what is coming up and what’s coming next so they can be prepared to look out for those signs and symptoms in their kids,” said Cheka.

Investigators said they are seeing fewer clandestine labs. It has become more difficult for manufacturers to obtain products at nearby pharmacies.

“This product is coming in such large amounts from the Mexican border into the U.S. that it is a cleaner product, higher quality, higher quantity, and in that case much cheaper,” said Hammac.

The task force continues to seek tips from citizens. For more information on how to submit anonymous information, click here.

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