Putting the freeze on ' Mexican Ice' in Oklahoma

Friday, August 19th 2005, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

The new law controlling the sale of one of meth's major ingredients, drastically cut down on the number of labs in the state, but it did not eliminate the drug problem.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says authorities are now trying to put a freeze on "Mexican Ice". The good news in Oklahoma is that the number of meth labs is down 90 percent since the state passed the law that restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine. But there is still meth aplenty in the state, it's just being trucked here, rather than made here.

It's still a big victory because as least children aren't growing up in houses, hotel rooms and cars filled with dangerous chemicals. David Hale with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs: "If it did nothing else, it took it out of the home and those kids could have a real life now. It was never meant to stop meth addiction or having it in the state, it was meant to get it out of the home."

Mexican Ice has been around since the 80's, but, is now picking up the slack in Oklahoma. It's the poor man's version of meth like crack is the poor man's version of cocaine. The ingredients are the same; it's the manufacturing process that's different. "They don't do it in this area. It comes from Southeast Asia and Mexico and onto the streets and it's 90 percent pure."

Drug officers and agents say now that labs are all but gone, they can focus on Ice trafficking and other drugs coming from across the border. "When you consider we had 1,300 labs a year, 365 days a year, it was full time. If we didn't have the DA's task forces, we'd be in real trouble."

Agents don't have any illusions that they'll get rid of drugs altogether, they just hope to stay ahead of the game and save a few people in the meantime.