Police Detective Samantha Bacon on Monday said so far this year, 16 arrests have been made in George West, not counting those who are being sent to the grand jury.
And three months remain in the year.
In comparison, there were four arrests in 2011 and three arrests in 2010.
Bacon explained that the arrests are in the Penalty Group 1 category, which also includes cocaine and LSD.
“Ninety percent of those arrests are meth,” said George West Chief Rey Garcia Jr.
“Just last week, we found an ounce-and-a-half of meth in an arrest,” Bacon said.
That amount adds up to 42 grams, or a value of $1,500 in bulk,” she said.
The arrest happened 12:22 a.m., Sept. 2, on the U.S. Highway 59 overpass in George West.
Palmer Grant Contreras, 28, of Beeville, and Joe Rios, 21, a passenger in the white Ford Taurus, also of Beeville, but formerly of George West, were arrested and charged with possession of meth and possession of a handgun.
The two were traveling at 57 mph in a 45 mph zone.
George West Police Officer Ricardo Montemayor and Cpl. Jorge Medina made the traffic stop.
“They purchased the meth from somebody, but they’re not saying who,” Garcia said.
“During the briefing, we learned they purchased meth here and were going back to Beeville,” Garcia added.
Our main concern is these little traffic stops in the city limits and residential areas that are turning up this meth,” Garcia said.
Garcia noted that in the past, it was common practice to look for the big busts of people who usually live outside George West.
“For years and years, and I imagine Three Rivers is the same way, we didn’t mess with locals,” Garcia said.
“But we are starting to look at locals a lot harder now. We have a concern, and that’s the best way we can address the problem – a closer look in our own house,” he said.
But Garcia said information is hard to come by.
“People who are aware – mother, father, son, daughter – are not saying anything. The majority arrested for meth possession are glad they got caught,” Garcia said.
Bacon said those arrested for possession of meth are not necessarily bad people.
“They’re from families, soccer moms to thugs,” she said.
Meth users are not always easy to spot, but Bacon said some of the signs include being jittery, rubbing both arms, picking at their faces and sores, radical weight loss and meth mouth – teeth yellow, rot and fall out of their mouths.
Garcia said the meth being found is “potent stuff.”
He said it can keep a person awake for almost a week, and then when the drug wears off, the user can sleep for days.
“I don’t know if is always the oil field workers although there’s a market for them. The longer you are up, the more you make,” he said.
Bacon said the problem is not going away, so something has to be done.
“It’s a very big problem that needs to be addressed,” Bacon said.