The Monster of Meth: The Narcotic Agent - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/11/04 - East Texas

The Monster of Meth: The Narcotic Agent

by Donna McCollum

Somewhere in the Pineywoods there's a hot plate simmering volatile chemicals to what will eventually become methamphitimine. The cooker will use it, sell it, and maybe even share it with a child. One cooker calls it, "A monster you can't stop". Nevertheless, there are those who try.

East Texas News 9's Donna McCollum spent time with different people in their attempt to stop "The Monster of Meth." Among them was a narcotics agent who has one thing in common with users, he risks his life for meth.

Kent Graham stabs a knife with a six inch blade into a table. "This was taken off a suspect during a pat down search. Inside it was about 3 grams of meth." Just one of the deadly risks that comes with Graham's job.

The risk of danger lures at each of the hundreds of meth busts he makes for the Deep East Texas Narcotics Trafficking Task Force. Now it's time for another.

Graham jumps in a 4x4 pickup, throws a country western CD in the player and turns up the volume. It won't be a distraction. Graham is focused on what he's about to do. Graham is on his way to arrest a meth cooker he knows well.

As he assured, the arrest goes down smoothly. After sitting in a vacant car wash stall, his suspect drives up. Swiftly Graham jumps out, cuffs and frisks a man he calls by his first name. "He's a likeable guy who just got messed up with the wrong stuff."

With the arrest made it's time to learn more. Graham questions, "Where's your lab set up now?" The suspect replies, "I don't have one." Graham accuses, "You're lying to me." "I've just got pieces," the suspect admits. Graham asked, "Where's it at?"

The cooker leads us north of Central Heights to a filthy trailer where he makes meth. There won't be any cooking this day. The electricity has been disconnected.There's money to make and buy dope, but none to pay the bills.

Trash is in each room covering the floor. The little furniture that is in the house is covered with debris. There's no food, only cans of camp fuel and other ingredients used to make meth. Graham said, "This would be unlivable for normal people, but for somebody that's abusing meth they don't think anything about it."

The occupant is referred to as a "bump monkey" or someone who provides a secluded place for a cooker in exchange for dope or money. They can be pathetic, but even they can have someone look up to them. Toys among the trash indicate this one has children.

Graham loads up the risks in his job. He finds the volatile chemicals used to make meth. Coming up find out how everyday household items are used to make the Monster of Meth.

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