A Heights man was arrested Aug. 1 and charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Samuel Wayne Bartlett, 47, was arraigned Aug. 3 by Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin regarding an incident that began Aug. 1 when police stopped Bartlett as he pushed his bicycle.

According to an arrest affidavit, while speaking with Bartlett, the officer noted that Bartlett’s front pockets were full of items.

Also according to the arrest affidavit, Police said they obtained permission from Bartlett to search his pockets for weapons, and found none. Instead, they found an uncapped syringe and a cellphone belonging to Bartlett that had a loose battery cap.

“Under the cap was a baggie containing a white substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine in the amount less than 1 gram.

On Aug. 3, Bartlett was booked into the Bell County Jail on a $20,000 bond.

Central Texas has long been a bastion of meth production and distribution, keeping pace with the national methamphetamine epidemic. Meth is also known as “speed.”

Following the government restriction regarding how people could buy cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient commonly used in the manufacture of meth, the number of clandestine labs ebbed somewhat but did not altogether disappear, as was the ultimate government goal.

These labs have been making a comeback in recent years, largely due to continued demand and availability of ingredients used in the manufacture of this poison.

Users and distributors of meth and other illicit drugs obtain the finished product from sources statewide, not just in the local area. Much of the hardware needed to “cook” meth is available off shelves in the local hardware and feed stores.

Manufacturing labs are generally unsophisticated and unsanitary, but some are high-class operations, which employ educated and talented criminals rather than the run-of-the-mill low IQ cooks.

Meth appears to be the illicit drug of choice in areas of high unemployment and poverty-stricken areas because its “high” comes cheap. Twenty-five to 30 dollars buys about a quarter gram and lasts for half a day.

I have been told by former users that as the initial euphoria wanes, it gives way to a surge of energy, making the user feel invincible. This would explain why so many meth users take dangerous risks while under the influence of the drug and why the general public is not safe in the presence of a meth user.

Methamphetamine is exceedingly habit forming and extremely difficult to quit. This junk is destructive to family unions and social relationships, not to mention teeth.

It is little wonder that this destructive and dangerous drug remains high on the government’s hit list.

John Vander WERFF is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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