MARCH 16, 2004 -- Posted at: 7:00pm
PARAGOULD/JONESBORO, AR - A crystalline form of methamphetamine that first showed up in Hawaii has now made its' way to Region Eight. This version is called "Ice". It's a more potent type of meth that's easier to smoke in a pipe than normal methamphetamine. Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston arrested someone for having that as well as marijuana as recently as two weeks ago.
"Our Hispanic population, not more or less profiling or anything like that, but we find most of it in our Hispanic corps," said Langston.
Luis Vicente was arrested for having about two grams of Ice and some marijuana as well as a gun. A judge gave the 20 year old a total of four charges including possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm.
It showed up in Greene County in the last few months, but Ice has been found in other parts of Region Eight as far back as a year ago.
Second Judicial Drug Task Force Investigator Jim Chambers explained, "We've probably seen 3 or 4 cases of Ice. We've not seen very much of it at all."
The drug is expensive, so the clientele is more limited than with regular meth. For example, one gram of Ice has a street value of about $100. One gram is about as much as a packet of sweetener. However, as more and more drug users learn about its' characteristics, drug task force investigators like Jim Chambers believe the number of cases will increase.
Chambers added, "It's very addictive, so I'm gonna guess that it gives them a pretty strong high, and it's almost instantaneous with smoking it."
A Regular meth high lasts about 8 hours. The same sized hit of Ice can go on for as long as 36 hours.
So far, 4 or 5 discoveries of Ice have been made in Greene County. As for Luis Vicente, he's out on a $10,000 until his next court appearance.
"As long as we have the influence of marijuana coming in from the southern states and across the border, we'll probably see this," said Langston.