Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.: It’s been more than a decade since local police officials declared methamphetamine “public enemy No. 1.” Despite an enormous volume of energy and public resources devoted to combating meth, the scourge persists.
Meth use and addiction is a powerful fuel that drives the meth trade and, in some cases, meth manufacturing in makeshift labs. It has helped create and perpetuate a subculture in which the risks of capture, incarceration and health dangers are secondary considerations, if that, for those involved.
That local subculture was undoubtedly shaken when law-enforcement officials intercepted a shipment of meth and other popular drugs into the area from Atlanta. Acting on a tip, the Indiana State Police stopped two vehicles driven by local residents.
It quickly became more than a routine traffic stop. Police say that the subsequent arrests of Marcus Pizzola and Stacy Holden led to charges also being filed against three more individuals, all for felony counts of dealing meth. A large amount of crystal meth — 3.5 pounds — was recovered during the stop, and police also say they now believe the incident has led to the dismantling of one of the largest meth distribution networks ever investigated in the Wabash Valley.
To understand the scope of this bust, police allege that over the past six months, Pizzola and his accomplices transported up to 50 pounds of meth into the area for distribution and sale. They estimate the street value of such an amount of meth is more than $1.1 million.