LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - There are six drugs threatening the state of Arkansas that the DEA is keeping a close eye on; opioids, cocaine, marijuana, halogens, and heroin but it's meth that tops the list with its abundance and the violent crimes that come with it.
Between 1993 and 1994, meth production and distribution grew in Arkansas. In the mid 2000's, there were 1,500 claimed meth labs and shortly after that laws were put in place to track the sale of meth ingredients.
The amount of busted meth houses went down after the law change, but that's when the DEA said the Mexican drug cartel stepped in.
Officials with the DEA said Arkansas is a prime location because it's rural, which they believe it's a prime place for the drug cartel to use it to have a "trans-shipment staging area."
In 2016, the Arkansas DEA has seized 496 pounds of meth due to drug trafficking. They said the two Mexican drug cartels operate in Little Rock and Fayetteville, saying they live amongst the local populations.
"What better way to hide than to go to work and work a job," the DEA official said.
The DEA, local, and state agencies want you to know they're cracking down and working together to monitor highway transportation and mail packaging which are the two primary sources of meth transportation.