NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Meth, an extremely dangerous and addictive drug, is something the Drug Enforcement Agency has dealt with for years.
“The meth was being manufactured primarily throughout the United States over 20 years domestically, and you’d have what we’d call mom and pop type operations,” says DEA Special Agent In-Charge Brad Byerley.
Agents would often find domestic labs where users would cook meth to get high. Things, though, are changing and meth is more potent.
“What we’re seeing now, though, is the Mexican Cartel have now learned how to make this meth. It’s stronger. It’s cheaper, and it’s a lot more pure,” says Byerley.
DEA Special Agent In-Charge, Brad Byerley says meth on the street today is much more dangerous and agents are finding it mixed with fentanyl, a highly addictive drug that he says gets users easily hooked.
“We’re seeing it in what they’re called ‘Super Meth’ on the Upper East Coast where there’s been several seizures earlier this year,” says Byerley. Byerley says meth or super meth is predominantly coming into the United States across the southwest border.
“of course, with our Interstate 10 and Interstate 12 running through the state of Louisiana, a lot of our large seizures are coming off the interstate,” says Byerley.
He says the DEA recently seized over a hundred pounds of meth in the New Orleans region. Because meth is being cut with fentanyl, an extremely potent substance that seeps through the skin, the DEA is forced to take special precautions during busts.
“It’s changed how we do business,” says Byerley.
They’re forced to wear special suits and equipment.
“This is what’s called a self-contained breathing apparatus. We have it broken down right here. It’s similar to what a fire fighters uses to go into a house fire where there’s not a lot of oxygen,” says Byerley.
Once the agent obtains the substance, they bring it back to the DEA’s lab to test it in house.
“The testing takes place underneath a fuel hood, so when this is turned on, it’s actually pulling the bad air into a filter system that would then protect anybody if that were to be fentanyl," says Byerley.
Byerley says the drug problem across the nation is something that will take a constant effort to stop.
“The cartels, the people that are making this, are preying upon our nation because of that drug addiction. They don’t care about safety. They care about one thing and that’s making profit,” says Byerley.