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Mexican meth bust across three counties in the Ozarks

Five people are behind bars; one remains a fugitive

June 07, 2013|Lauren Pozen, KSPR News Reporter | lpozen@kspr.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A major break for federal agents tracking a local drug conspiracy involving Mexican meth. Agents say a group distributed the addictive drug throughout Greene, Christian and Webster counties

Five people are behind bars at the Greene County Jail: Five people are behind bars at the Greene County Jail: Caesar Ramon Avila-Hernandez, Salvador Campos, Jesus Valdez, Robert Cantrell and Myrna Aguiree. Agents are still looking for Jerry Wright of Ozark.

The Mexican Cartel is a highly organized business. Federal agents call it "users choice." Meaning, Mexican meth is being seen in the Ozarks now, more than ever before.

"It is a hugely organized deal and I mean hugely organized. You are dealing with the Mexican mafia. They are just like the kings of that stuff and they have been around forever."

Because of her past in the drug business, a woman we spoke with, asked us to hide her identity. She calls southwest Missouri a "perfect target" for meth dealers.

"You are the type of town that we look for. The ones that are not  quite so big and are not quite so little. They can go in here and just kind of blend in," she says.

She was in what she calls an ' organization,' transporting meth from state-to-state in semi's.

"It is the thrill of what you are doing and there is a lot of money in it.  You get a shopping bag full of money when you successfully get yours across," she says.

Not only did she distribute, she also used.

"The drug is euphoric drug period, plain and simple. It is an addictive drug and it is one of the hardest to get off of."

One day her luck ran out.

"You can not miss it when they are in DEA jackets and helmets and big guns all that stuff. You know you are busted," she says.

A similar scene took place in Springfield on Tuesday. Federal agents tracked a Mercedes with California plates. Agents seized over 500 grams of Mexican meth.

"It shows a level of sophistication which we are seeing more and more of. They are not just putting it in duffle bags and driving them in the back of the car," says Jerry Craig, a supervisor in the Springfield DEA office.

That is no surprise to someone who used to be in the business.

"Meth has been along a long time. But, heroin is coming. Heroin is already making a huge comeback," says the woman who used to be in the business.

Meth is a lucrative business. Dealers can sell an ounce for $2,000 dollars and if they break it down into gram amounts, they can make even more money. The DEA says Mexican meth is also very pure, driving demand from customers.

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