Police say the use of crystal methamphetamine appears to be on the rise in the metro-east.
Joe Beliveau, commander of the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois, said, “Yes, it appears while meth labs in the metro-east are on the decline, crystal methamphetamine use is increasing at an alarming rate.”
Beliveau said MEGSI agents, working with postal inspectors, recently seized more than 7 pounds of crystal meth.
The seizure coincided with the arrest of Jackie Townsend, 37, of Edwardsville, who was charged with heroin trafficking, which is a class X felony. The sentencing range, if convicted, on this count is from 18-80 years.
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Townsend was also charged with methamphetamine trafficking, also a class X felony that, if convicted, carries a sentencing range of 30-120 years. Additionally, Townsend was charged with unlawful possession with the intent to deliver heroin, and possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine. Townsend was taken to the St. Clair County Jail with bail set at $300,000.
Beliveau said police expect there will be several more arrests made in connection with the investigation.
In the last six months, Beliveau said he has seen an increase in crystal meth cases.
The number of meth-lab cases, however, is decreasing.
“Two years ago, we had 250 methamphetamine (lab) cases. Last year, we had a little over 100 cases. And, we expect that those numbers will be even lower this year,” Beliveau said.
He said anyone who knows of any meth labs or crytsal meth cases can call MEGSI agents at 346-3750. MEGSI is regional drug task force.