EL PASO, Texas -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is seizing more meth in the El Paso area compared to years past. The agency says that stopping the flow of the drug in the city is key to halting the spread nationwide.
2019 DEA data shows that agents in the western part of Texas and across New Mexico seized 42 percent more meth than they did in 2018. The numbers follow nationwide trends.
Kyle Williamson, the Special Agent in charge of the El Paso division, said meth that comes through this region is often taken to places like Dallas, Atlanta and even Chicago.
The administration seized more than 1,000 kilograms of meth last year. The administration reports that just one kilogram of the drug has a street value of $2,000 or $2,500.
"The way that El Paso is geographically located, you can access the entire United States interstate system from El Paso," Williamson said. "That's why El Paso is strategically important to the cartels and that's why the gateway in Juarez is so important."
Williamson said meth is a highly addictive drug, and says that while overdose deaths are declining throughout the country, more of those deaths can be attributed to meth.
"Since 2015, we've seen a mixture of methamphetamine and fentanyl. That mixture has increased by 1000 percent," Williamson said. "That's a very alarming trend because the amount of fentanyl the size of a grain of salt can kill someone."