Today Attorney General John Suthers announced in a press release that the leader of a 41-person meth ring has been sentenced to 45 years in prison. Just two days earlier, Suthers could be found discussing meth prevention at Denver's George Washington High School and announcing a new online tool in the war against meth use, MethProject.org.
Meth production ring leader Aaron Castro was sentenced by an Adams County District Court judge after pleading guilty to the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, a class-two felony; two counts of distribution of a Schedule II substance, both class-three felonies; and criminal extortion, a class-four felony. Castro and his codefendants had distributed as much as 100,000 doses of methamphetamine per month throughout the Denver metro area, according to the indictment. It had been found during the investigation that Castro had also used the money from their drug deals to purchase collector comic books in an attempt to launder their meth proceeds.
At the time in 2009, investigators seized first-edition Superman and Batman publications worth at least $500,000.
Investigators believe the meth was being made in what they call a "super lab" in Mexico and smuggled to Colorado by way of Phoenix. Women were used as "mules" to smuggle the drugs into the states by hiding them in their body cavities, Suthers said.
Happily among Colorado teens the use of methamphetamine has gone down by about 8 percent since 2009, according to a survey conduced by the Colorado Meth Project. In the survey, teens answered that the internet was their top source of information about meth. Not so surprising, especially considering that the same survey shows that their parents have actually had less discussions about meth use with their children.
Now the "Ask" website is there to fill the void for teens and others to get facts about meth. It answers questions regarding meth symptoms shown in the gruesome award-winning ads on TV and billboards. Instead of just providing the text to questions like, "What is 'meth mouth'?" the new campaign actually shows the answers with interactive features, for instance allowing the person to manipulate a set of teeth to gradually show the decay caused by meth.
In response to the release of the survey findings in May, Suthers said:
Prevention is a crucial component of Colorado's fight against Meth, particularly as we are seeing troubling increases in the drug’s availability. According to the Justice Department, the supply of Meth is at its highest level, highest purity, and lowest cost in five years, largely as a result of the Mexican drug cartels’ increased involvement in Meth trafficking.