Meth production booming in cities, leading to law enforcement crackdowns

Methamphetamine first grew to prominence primarily as a rural drug. Meth's prevalence in smaller communities came as little surprise considering the space and isolation required to produce meth when using traditional "cooking" methods. However, as methamphetamine production methods become simpler, meth is increasingly being seen in urban areas. This trend has resulted in heavier meth enforcement by law enforcement officers in cities and a corresponding explosion of Drug Crimes.

"Shake-and-bake" meth means improvised labs can be set up almost anywhere

A way to hide potent fumes, heavy lab equipment and a background in chemistry are no longer baseline requirements for anyone looking to produce meth. A faster process that is gaining in popularity involves simply combining ingredients in 2-liter soda bottles. So-called shake-and-bake meth can be made just about anywhere with little odor.

This simplified production process has meant more meth labs springing up in cities, and a corresponding spike in law enforcement activity. A major report from the Associated Press found that in some major urban areas, meth lab seizures more than quadrupled from 2009 to 2012.

Imported Mexican meth was subject of an historic drug bust in Vancouver

Of course, even with the explosion of urban meth labs, there remains a lucrative import market for methamphetamine produced outside of the United States. Meth manufactured in Mexican "superlabs" is becoming less expensive, more potent and increasingly pure. Well-developed distribution networks allow meth to flow freely into many metropolitan areas.

In a major Vancouver drug bust in 2012, police officers seized 74 pounds of methamphetamine from an apartment used as a safe house by a Mexican cartel. The meth was apparently brought to Vancouver from California and was meant for distribution in the Portland-Vancouver area. It was the largest amount of meth ever seized in the county.

Possession, distribution or production of meth can bring serious criminal charges

Whether it comes from simplified home production labs or Mexican superlabs, meth is becoming more easily available in American cities. Faced with this reality, law enforcement entities are devoting tremendous resources to cracking down on meth use and distribution.

Possessing even a small amount of meth is a serious offense. If you are caught with larger quantities, you could be charged with a distribution offense and face real time behind bars.

An arrest for a drug crime does not mean you will necessarily go to prison. You can challenge the evidence against you, and with a strong legal defense, may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed. If you've been charged with a drug crime, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney today to begin building your case.