OKLAHOMA CITY, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oklahoma Grocers Association (OGA) applauded the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Drug Task Force officers from Districts 22, 23, 24 and other Oklahoma law enforcement professionals for successfully executing an historic raid of Mexican-made methamphetamine smuggled into Oklahoma for distribution. In recent days, more details of the late-June raid have come to light. According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Oklahoma narcotics officers served 15 search warrants and 40 arrests warrants on Wednesday, June 27.
The June raid followed a five-month undercover investigation. Also assisting in the raid were officials from the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Department, the Shawnee Police Department, and the Pottawatomie Nation Tribal Police Department. Methamphetamine smuggled into the United States from Mexico accounts for an estimated 80 percent of the meth found in this country, according to DEA officials.
"All Oklahomans should be proud of the tremendous work performed by our law enforcement professionals this week as they continue to crack down on meth smugglers from Mexico," said OGA President Ron Edgmon. "Although the greatest source of methamphetamine in this country comes from our southern neighbors in Mexico—a country where the war on drugs carries a different meaning, it is critical Oklahoma laws allow law enforcement officials and retailers to have a better handle on domestic meth production and abuse."
According to Edgmon, the OGA opposed efforts earlier in the year to require a doctor's prescription for safe and effective medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE)—an ingredient sometimes used in the illegal manufacture of meth.
"As today's news makes clear, burdening responsible Oklahomans with a prescription requirement for these popular medicines will do little to address the underlying causes of our state's meth problem," Edgmon said. "Mexico, it's worth noting, completely banned the sale of PSE in 2007, yet drug cartels are still able to produce the drug at alarming rates."
The OGA supported House Bill 2941, the anti-meth bill signed into law earlier this year by Governor Mary Fallin. The new law will give Oklahoma law enforcement better tools to track down and arrest meth criminals. The law will provide Oklahoma with an electronic blocking system that will allow retailers and police officers to track PSE purchases and block unlawful sales in real time and across state lines. The law will also put into place a meth offender registry that will prevent individuals with meth-related offenses on their criminal records from being able to buy PSE for ten years.
"Overall, the OGA supports commonsense measures that target criminals while ensuring law-abiding citizens' access to these medicines is protected," Edgmon said. "Methamphetamine production and abuse have long been extraordinary problems facing our communities. Defeating the scourge of meth requires that all Oklahoma leaders—lawmakers, law enforcement officials and retailers—work together."
The OGA is a statewide trade association that represents supermarkets and convenience stores in Oklahoma.
SOURCE Oklahoma Grocers Association (OGA)