9 Arrested in Concord NH Meth Bust
Right now Walter White is shaking his head from the TV heavens at the nine people who were arrested last week for possessing and selling thousands of dollars worth of meth and a small amount of heroin in Concord, New Hampshire. There is still one suspect, Christphopher J. Ruggles, being sought by police for selling meth on three counts. The Concord police have asked that anyone with information regarding where Ruggles may be found to call them at 603-225-8600 or at the Concord Regional Crimeline at 603-226-3100.
The arrests were made possible after a six month investigation that was helmed by the Concord Police Department of Drug Enforcement and aided by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Drug Task Force. During the bust, over $40,0000 in cash, more than 30 grams of meth and an undisclosed amount of heroin was recovered by police. It is unclear at this point who was making these insidious street drugs; the home raided was a rental, no evidence of a lab on site was uncovered, and all of the meth found was already prepared for sale.
The heroin discovered speaks to another battle being fought in the area as it and other opiates are taking hold of the city’s residents. Lt. Timothy O’Malley of the Concord police department attributes its presence to a “disturbing trend” cropping up among users where they are using heroin to “come down” off of methamphetamines effects on the body, which are often extreme.
Does Concord Have a Meth Issue?
There was was a time when Concord, New Hampshire authorities didn’t recover much meth, if any at all, which was the case from 2003 to 2007 when only a single undercover meth buy actually produced results during those four years. In an alarming shift, over 19 separate undercover buys have resulted in the collection of meth since January, according to Sgt. Marc McGonagle of the Concord police’s drug unit.
Sgt. McGonagle isn’t sure what to think about the rather sudden increase in meth, which he notes is most often bought by Concord residents who are 30 or older. He says, “I find it interesting and concerning. Is it going to take hold? I don’t know.”
Jacqui Abikoff of Horizons Counseling and chair of the New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Drug Use Professionals seems to think it is and has noticed an increase in meth use as of late among her clients and current county jail inmates. She says, “We have definitely seen a significant increase in the clients seeking treatment who have been using meth. It wasn’t that long ago that it was no one.”
Where is the Meth Coming From?
Authorities are still in the midst of figuring out what’s really going on with the increase in meth use and distribution in Concord. However, there is early speculation that the majority of the meth is coming from local dealers who make their own supply by using the “shake and bake” or Birch reduction methods. These local labs are smaller in scale when compared to the labs commonly found in other parts of the country that are much larger and produce more meth. There is still a possibility that the meth seized during last week’s raid is coming from a larger operation, but that is still a piece of the puzzle yet to fit into place as of yet.
While these hometown “cooks” are only able to produce a small amount of the drug at any given time, that does little to slow down their operation nor does it make it easy for authorities to zoom in for a bust. Smaller labs like the ones believed to be popping up in the city are known for their portability, which makes it incredibly easy to quickly toss the evidence or move it to another hidden location where it can’t be detected. These labs are also frequently found in the back of cars, making it even harder to pin them down and dangerous as the risk of an explosion is still high no matter the size of the lab or the method used to make the meth.
Who’s Making the Meth?
Well, that is indeed the million dollar question that has yet to be answered by the Concord police. What is known, though, is that many meth dealers and “cook” aren’t in the business of peddling the drug for the money. It’s quite the opposite really, as most are simply in the business to maintain their own addictions and are often able to do so by charging up to $180 per gram of meth. That is a substantial markup when you consider the cost of the household ingredients and over-the-counter medications used to manufacture it.
Authorities are still in the early stages of determining just how severe the meth issue is in the city, but that doesn’t mean that resources aren’t available for those who are or suspect their loved one is battling a meth addiction.
Some of the drug testing services that detect methamphetamines are: