Mexican Drug Cartel 'Ice' Infiltrating Mississippi

Mexican Drug Cartel 'Ice' Infiltrating Mississippi

By McCarton Ackerman 03/07/14

The cartels have been moving into Mississippi where they've flooded the state with meth from so-called super labs.

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Seized in Mississippi. Photo via

The underworld of Mexican drug cartels has made its way to southern Mississippi. Hundreds of kilograms of Mexican meth, otherwise known as “ice,” found in the area over the last couple of years have been linked back to Mexican drug cartels and their “super labs.” Roughly 20 cartel members scattered throughout South Mississippi have been arrested in crystal meth investigations conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Drug cartels are trying to infiltrate different states and are setting up cell heads as distributors,” said Daniel Comeaux, agent in charge of the DEA's Gulfport office. "That's what we are seeing here."

A 2010 Mississippi law that outlawed decongestants containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make meth, has drastically changed how meth is being made throughout the state. The mom-and-pop meth labs or bathtub labs that once flourished were replaced by shake-and-bake operations, which allowed meth makers to mix the ingredients in a plastic soda bottle and then shake it before letting it "cook" wherever they wanted to make it. Reports of home meth labs and dump sites have also decreased dramatically; only six of these sites were reported to the El Paso Intelligence Center in 2012, compared to 912 sites in 2010.

The ice found on the streets in South Mississippi typically comes from Mexican “super labs” that can make as much as 10 pounds of the drug in 24 hours. A gram sells for about $150-200 on the market, with several drug runners prosecuted in the past year reporting to drug agents that they were paid $3,000 to $5,000 to deliver shipments of ice to South Mississippi. An ounce provides about 30 hits of the drug and each dose lasts about six hours, resulting in difficulty sleeping for several days afterward.