Editor’s note: The following is the second of a multi-part series on the growing problem of methamphetamine.
COLUMBIA CITY — Though many experts say AMC’s hit television series “Breaking Bad” is a fairly accurate portrayal of methamphetamine dealing in the Southwest U.S., the drug market is nearly the opposite in Whitley County.
The television show, staged in New Mexico, illustrates interactions and relations with Mexican drug cartels, along with high-level business operations in dealing meth.
Whitley County Drug Task Force Detective Bill Brice said that in Columbia City, and much of the Midwest, the sale of the drug is mostly held to modest organizations.
“They pretty much hold to small groups,” Brice said.
Mexican drug cartels are anything but small.
Statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), say that the cartel’s presence in the U.S. has snowballed in the last five years.
In 2008, the DEA reported that 230 U.S. communities reported some level of cartel presence. The number climbed to more than 1,200 in 2011.
Though Columbia City and Whitley County aren’t included in those numbers, some have become creative when dealing meth in the area.
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