Easy access to Methamphetamine in Angelina County keeps drug war alive

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - One shot sealed the fate of convicteddrug dealer James Durham.

"He shot it in my vein, 11 yearsold. It boosted me up, it made me sick. I said I never do that again, the verynext day I was doing it again," said Convicted drug dealer, James Durham.

At the age of 39 he has been in andout of jail nearly 50 times.

But his addiction to methamphetaminefinally landed him a 25 year prison sentence.

"It consumes every thoughtprocess for them." said Tom Matthews, Angelina County narcotics officer.

Tom Matthews has worked in narcoticsfor two years and has raided 60 meth labs in Angelina County.

"It's a cheap drug, it's cheaply made, youcould make it by googling it," said Matthews.

Because of its long border with Mexico, Texashas easy access to the Mexican trafficking of cocaine, heroin and meth.But Matthews says in East Texas methis king.

"Meth has just kind of absorbedAngelina County and taken over," said Matthews.

Megan Parr started using meth at 16, keepingaddiction in the family.

"I was having to take care of mybrother and help it was a big burden on me, raising him and my parents werealways running out and using," said Parr.

Methamphetamine can be described as anaddictive stimulant. Offering its users a high unlike any other drug.

"My friends just said this isbetter than cocaine, you know it lasts a lot longer, gives you a better effectand I'd try anything," said former meth addict Dana Faske.

Once they become addicted there is noturning back.

I had a daughter, I didn't care aboutbeing there for her I just ran off and left, I didn't care about anything , Ididn't care about what happened to me," said Parr.

"All they think about it how toget the next Meth supply," said Matthew.

Dana Faske used meth for five years and duringthat time couldn't keep a steady job. Her addiction became her only means ofsurvival.

"Even after I found out I waspregnant, it still used. To supplement our income we would purchase meth andsell it," said Faske.

An average pound of meth sells for threethousand dollars; it is manufactured with inexpensive chemicals available toanyone.

"Everything you need fromWal-Mart you cook the best drugs in east Texas," said Durham.

Angelina County narcotics officialssay a majority of the crime they see involves some form of drug abuse and eachmeth raid lowers the crime rate.

Laws such as the Combat Meth Act helplessen the production of the drug. But Durham says not even the law will stopan addict.

"They're never going to stop it,if they figure out a way to slow it down, the junkies are going to figure out away around it," said Durham.

Officials agree, as long as there is asupply and demand, the drug war will not stop.

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