The Other Drug Epidemic: How Meth Is Fueling Drug Crimes
While the opioid epidemic continues to be a national health and crime problem, in Washington, methamphetamine use has been on the rise for the last decade. The amount of meth in police evidence testing, which had declined steeply for several years until 2010, has been steadily increasing ever since.
In a 2017 survey of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) division agencies covering Washington, Oregon and Idaho, more respondents named meth as the drug that was most available, most responsible for property crime and responsible for using the most law enforcement resources. And a 2018 study by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services indicated that meth-involved deaths quadrupled between 2008 and 2016. It also showed that out of all drugs seized and analyzed in state crime labs, meth was found in 62 percent of cases, compared to heroin’s 30 percent showing.
The rise in meth-related crimes and deaths is overwhelming law enforcement in Washington State and across the country mainly due to the sheer volume of supply. Rather than Breaking Bad-style meth labs in rural areas, meth is now largely being trafficked from Mexico. But that doesn’t mean that police haven’t made arrests. In May 2019, a Washington man was convicted of conspiring to distribute and distributing Mexican cartel meth and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
With penalties that serious, no one should take any drug charge lightly. For possession of any drug other than marijuana in Washington State, the charge is a class C felony, which carries up to five years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines. If you have been charged with drug possession or distribution, a lawyer can provide valuable guidance and representation. Many potential defenses may be applicable to your case, such as entrapment or the drugs in question not belonging to you. And, if you suffer from addiction, a skilled attorney may be able to convince a judge to order alternative sentencing, such as addiction treatment, without a conviction.
Peale Law Firm has handled many drug crime cases and successfully defended clients in this complex area of the law. We will vigorously defend you no matter your circumstances and seek to eliminate or mitigate the charges. Our office represents clients in the Seattle area and throughout Washington. To learn more about how we can help in a free consultation, call us at 206-906-9112 or contact us online.