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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
February 2, 2005

DEA Warns "Ice" is Hitting Georgia

photo - seized drugsSherri F. Strange, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, and David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia issued an advisory today on the trend of “ice” and “meth” drug cases and enforcement actions as an ongoing concern and priority of both the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA.

As part of the advisory, the DEA showed the results of a seizure in the latest case involving “ice.” The “ice” was 125 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, as well as 9 kilos of cocaine, seized in Gwinnett County on January 27th, after a controlled delivery originating in Brownsville, Texas. Arrested as part of the enforcement action: ROBERTO ZAVALA, 48, a/k/a “Beto,” of Harlingen, Texas, and JOSE JESUS ALVAREZ-CORIA, 25, a/k/a “Chewy,” a resident alien of McAllen, Texas. Both have appeared before a United States Magistrate. That case is ongoing.

In a news conference this morning, United States Attorney David Nahmias and Special Agent In Charge Sherri Strange told reporters that meth and ice continue to be a multi-million dollar problem, and a priority of federal agents. “Ice” is a particularly potent form of methamphetamine, similar to the relationship “crack” has to cocaine, as it is highly addictive, and often sold and marketed as the drug’s most powerful form.

photo - seized drugsSpecial Agent In Charge Sherri Strange said, “DEA is concerned with the increase in reports of meth and ice being sent to the Atlanta metropolitan area for local consumption, distribution, and transshipment to other areas of the United States. With the decrease in coca cultivation in Colombia and the ongoing enforcement efforts against cocaine, we cannot allow meth to become a substitute for cocaine. Meth, and in particular, ice, is a more powerful stimulant than cocaine and is highly addictive."

Ms. Strange noted that in the case of the “ice” displayed at the news conference from the most recent seizure, the street values alone are significant. The drug currently sells for $12,000 to $16,000 per pound at the wholesale level; $1,100 to $1,500 per ounce, and $80 to $225 per gram, which would make the range of “street value” price of the seizure between $4.54 to $12.78 million dollars. Ms. Strange noted that many market conditions dictate a “street” price, but that most users buy in quantities of a gram or less, which would make the overall street price even higher. Ms. Strange noted that quantities of “ice” seized have shown a significant increase over the past two years and this seizure is the largest to date.

For further information please contact DEA Group Supervisor Ruth Porter-Whipple at 404-893-7128.


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