TPD: Meth Produced In OK Labs Being Replaced By Mexican Drug Cartels
TULSA, Oklahoma - Special investigators with the Tulsa police department say they're not busting as many meth labs these days as they used to, but that doesn't mean there are fewer drugs in the city.
Investigators say they have been successful in shutting down meth-making operations in Tulsa through enforcement and state law changes.
But now they say there are even more drugs on the streets buts it's not being made here.
Capt Mark Wollmershauser Jr, TPD Special Investigations Unit
We don’t run into any methamphetamine anymore that’s manufactured here, we run into hundreds of methamphetamine being flooded in by Mexico,” said Capt. Mark Wollmershauser Jr.
In 2016 TPD investigators say they seized about 80 pounds of meth for the year. In 2018 police say they're on track for a 400-percent increase in meth seizures.
But investigators say they're not arresting more people. Meth-related arrests are down by 40-percent this year. Police say right now their focus is on drug dealers and traffickers, not the addicts the cartels are taking advantage of.
“Cartels identify need, and they know there’s a need for methamphetamine here because of the addiction rate in Oklahoma,” said Capt. Wolmershauser.
Investigators say the street price for a pound of meth has dropped by about 50-percent since 2012 making it easier to sell.
Tulsa police say they're working with the FBI and the DEA to take more meth off the streets and to figure out how cartels are laundering drug money here in Tulsa, and shipping it back to Mexico.