Sheriff's department finds new, pure form of crystal meth in Lubbock

Published: Aug. 4, 2015 at 10:19 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 3, 2016 at 12:03 AM CST
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Seized by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office
Seized by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office
Seized by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office
Seized by the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office

LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - A new, unusually pure form of Crystal Methamphetamine has been found in Lubbock, and Sheriff Kelly Rowe is seeking new funding to fight it.

"Crystal Methamphetamine is a one-time addiction drug. It's a type of drug if your kids get hooked on it, you might as well kiss them goodbye because you probably won't get them back," said Sheriff Rowe.

He said crystal meth is the biggest threat facing this area.

"It's coming in in such a high degree of purity; it's right out of the Breaking Bad series," Sheriff Rowe said.

In the television series Breaking Bad, the main character builds an empire by making meth that is 99.1 percent pure.

"We just got test results in a couple of days ago from a load that was 100 percent pure. None of us have even seen that before," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says his department seized 800 percent more crystal meth in 2014 than in 2013.

"We know we are going to see significant increases with regard to the amount of addiction and everything that comes with it," Sheriff Rowe said.

Like robberies, increased public healthcare costs to treat addiction and overdoses, and violence. Violence, Rowe said, that extends from kidnapping and torture to murder.

Something a Lubbock County Detention Center inmate said he has seen first-hand.

"Red" is an admitted gang member who agreed to speak with us as long as we agreed to protect his identity.

"I seen a guy take out a gun and he shot the guy like four or five times, like point blank range and everybody scattered. I found out later that the reason why they shot the guy was because of a $10 rock that he had sold the guy that was fake dope," Red said.

Red said he was 9 years old when he witnessed that shooting. He joined a gang a year later. Now, he's behind bars in the Lubbock County Detention Center, where he has spent most of his life.

"Somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 percent of the 1,200 inmates housed in the Lubbock County Detention Center are in there today for an addictive-related offense," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe said cartels are utilizing street and prison gang members to do most of their distribution.

"Red" said things have changed.

"In my generation it was more about actual gang banging, like fighting and shooting at people, and you know, the gang culture. And these gangs don't really, the violence that is attributed to them is not, no longer has to do anything with color, but turfs and neighborhoods, and the distribution of drugs and trying to impress the cartel into messing with them, and supplying them with the drugs to sell," Sheriff Rowe said.

"To see it this concentrated and then to look at how these organizations are structured, how fast they can set up - we take one day, they are right back up and operational within a couple of weeks. It's very organized and they have every determination in the world to get that product out and delivered," Sheriff Rowe said.

"Lubbock has become a very lucrative drug market," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe is asking county commissioners for more than $1 million in extra funds.

That money would be used to expand staff to help increase intelligence and identify drug distributors.

Rowe said until the border is secured, the drug problem with continue to grow.

Commissioners have not yet made a decision on Rowe's request, as they are still working on the budget for the next year.

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