What's next for drug cartels after El Chapo

What’s next for drug cartels after El Chapo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Small town communities are being targeted by Mexican drug cartels, selling hundreds of pounds of powerful Methamphetamine and plaguing middle Tennesseans with addiction.

A major drug bust in Wayne County hopes to get to the root of the problem that’s said to be out of control.

To put things into perspective: for the first time on record, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says meth surpassed marijuana as the most-submitted drug in the state in 2019.

Wayne County has seen the surging popularity of the drug first-hand. With a population just shy of 17,000, it’s a small community dealing with a huge problem: Methamphetamine in its most powerful form. The Wayne County Sheriff says they’re dealing with a 95-98% percent pure meth called “ice.”

“Ice is not your parent’s or your grandparents version of meth,” explains Brian Sullivan, who is on the Executive Board of Directors for Prevention Alliance of Tennessee. “Ice is a very high potency form of meth that is much more powerful than previous generations we’ve seen.

At $10 a gram, it’s powerful and cheap.

Last year, 90% of drug arrests in Wayne County were related to ice, and it isn’t even made here.

This high quality drug comes from across the border in Mexico.

“One of the things we heard of people doing is people transporting it in water bottles over the border to get it into the U.S. Most of the drugs that we hear making it to the U.S. are through legal ports of entry and not necessarily through parts that are closed off,” explains Sullivan.

Wayne County Sheriff says communities like his are directly targeted by the Mexican Cartels.

“We don’t have a lot of law enforcement officers our area. Our area is vast with not a lot of citizens in our county, and they’re targeting that because we are so rural. There’s areas they can hide in, they think,” says Sheriff Shane Fisher.

A Wayne County Grand Jury returned indictments for conspiracy to distribute over 300 grams of methamphetamine to 13 people. One woman, Sandra Satterfield, is still at large.

“This will be the first one to kick it off, Operation Omerta that no matter where you’re at if you assist in bringing drugs to Wayne County, methamphetamine or any type of illegal drugs, then we’re going to get you and prosecute you here,” says Sheriff Fisher.

While Wayne County wages its own war on drugs.

FOX 17 News also reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ask what they’re doing to stop the packages from coming in.

Ohh, I heard about this news and it’s really terrible. I am scared to imagine how many children can die due to drug use. If I were in the place of the mayor, I would do everything possible and impossible to completely eradicate drugs from the city. In my childhood I also dabbled in drugs because it was fashionable among my friends and therefore I could not stay away. It all ended when my dad ordered drug tests from https://testcountry.com and said that I should show him the result. These were very modern tests and it was impossible to deceive them, and in the end I told him the whole truth. Dad took it very calmly and simply explained to me that because of drugs I could get very sick or die, and after that I vowed that I would never use them.