Reno, Nevada Police: Meth related crimes increase
Methamphetamine has been deemed the most accessible drug in the state of Nevada because it is easy to get, and easy to use.
While the problem had appeared to be slowing down, officials with the Reno Police Department say Meth related crimes have increased again.
"It's got a pretty good grip on Reno," said Sgt. Mac Venzon.
News 4 went undercover with the department's Street Enforcement Team Tuesday to explore how officials actually handle the problem.
The undercover Street Enforcement Team begins its day with a briefing on a plan of action, but members rarely know how their day will end.
On Tuesday, they prepare to track down a man selling Meth on the streets of Reno.
As the team rides along, they've had a potential arrestee set up a meeting point with his dealer to buy a half-once. But as the team follows, a traffic violation along Virginia Street leads to an early traffic stop.
The man is questioned and his car is searched. What looks like bags of drugs are placed on the hood of the Mustang, but no drugs are found. But the woman passenger, who is on parole, is visibly upset--for a reason. She is hiding the half-ounce. And when she exits a police car, she decides to give up the drugs to the authorities.
The scale weigh-in confirms the felony amount. But it's only a drop in the bucket of what's on the street.
"If we don't take enforcement action, what happens is it ends up being an open air drug market, so we don't want that," Venzon said.
Taking action on small possessions allows police to move up the "food chain" of drug dealers.
"That's 15 pounds of Meth that won't be distributed in our community," Venzon said. "It touches every part of our community, so we try to keep that down as best we can."
Venzon says fighting Meth sales and use is important because it also impacts the number of violent crimes, robbery and fraud.
Cities in Nevada :
North Las Vegas
Incline Village-Crystal Bay
Lemmon Valley-Golden Valley
Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village