"Ice" emerging as new drug trend in the Wiregrass

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Dothan, AL (WSFA) –  After a three month long investigation and surveillance operation, a drug trafficking duo is behind bars.

In a joint operation, the Houston County Sheriff and Dothan Police Departments arrested 26-year-old Ashley Benton Bond of Dothan and 29-year-old Harley David Bottoms of Slocomb and charged them with trafficking methamphetamines.  They were found with $25,000 worth of meth.

The two are in the Houston County Jail with a $500,000 bond, and their case will now go before a federal grand jury.

The particular form of meth they possessed was crystal meth, also known as "ice", and authorities in the Wiregrass say they're seeing lots of it

Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes said, "This seems to be the trend here in Houston County.  We've been finding more and more ice than we are seeing homemade type of methamphetamine."

Homemade meth labs are still out there, but new laws restricting the purchase of the main ingredient, Pseudoephedrine, have slowed production, so drug users are looking elsewhere for their next fix.

Hughes said, "There are no controls on the use of pseudoephedrine in Mexico.  They have mega labs that produce meth by the hundreds of thousands of pounds, and it's illegally shipped to the United States."

They say the $25,000 in meth the confiscated Thursday night, is part of a shipment from Mexico, and the two men arrested had such large quantities, they were likely dealing to other dealers.

District Attorney Doug Valeska said, "A lot of families would have been ruined and a lot of children would have been affected if this large quantity was broken down and sold on the street."

Locals we talked with feel the same way.

Dianne Reed said, "When drugs are in the community, it is felt across the board.  It affects everyone."

Sheriff Hughes says there is one advantage to finding "ice" as opposed to other types of meth—there's no hazardous material to clean up when they find those homemade meth labs.

It's a costly part of cleaning up crime.

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