Convicted Texas Dealer Reportedly Used Kids To Package Meth

By Kelly Burch 04/17/18

During his trial, evidence was presented that the man used children as young as five to help package the meth he was selling.

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Arrested man in handcuffs with hands behind back

A 46-year-old Texas man who authorities say used children to help package the methamphetamine he was selling has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after he was convicted of manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance. 

Charles David Clark, of Caldwell, Texas, was indicted last June after he sold less than a gram of meth to a confidential informant of the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office.

At the time, the confidential informant was wearing audio and video recording equipment. On the recordings, authorities could hear small children talking to the person making the drug buy, according to a news release from the Burleson County District Attorney's Office. 

During his trial, authorities presented evidence that Clark used his own children and other kids to help package the meth he was selling, up to 196 grams a week. Some of the kids were as young as five years old. 

“He directly exposed children to this poison. His is not a victimless crime as so many would have you believe,” First Assistant District Attorney Adam Muery said during closing arguments in the case. 

Later, Muery expanded upon why Clark’s offense was so detrimental to the community. 

“Meth is a plague on the rural communities,” he said. “People are losing money, jobs, relationships, and even their children because of the addiction. Where there is meth, there is increased family violence, thefts, burglaries, robberies, and so on. People often forget about the collateral damage of methamphetamine usage.”

Overdose deaths from methamphetamine are climbing in some areas of the Southwest, and may soon overtake opioid-related overdose deaths in states including Nevada and New Mexico. 

“The No. 1 drug seized by all of our task forces is meth,” Keith Carter, deputy director of the Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, said recently. “The meth being manufactured in Mexico is very high quality meth, and very potent.”

Jamie Ross, executive director of the PACT Coalition, a drug prevention nonprofit in Southern Nevada, was not surprised that meth-related deaths rose even as opioid overdoses decreased.

“I’ve been doing this job six and a half years, and for the last three of four years, we’ve seen the numbers rising,” he said. “It unfortunately doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.”

In Texas, authorities say that they will continue to prosecute drug-related offenses aggressively. Although Clark’s offense for manufacturing or delivering would normally only carry up to a two-year sentence, he was tried as a habitual offender, which opens up the possibility of life in prison in Texas. 

“We will continue to prosecute drug dealers to the fullest extent. I made that promise and will continue to uphold it,” District Attorney Julie Renken said after the sentence was announced.  

“Thanks to the hard work by the Sheriff’s Office we were able to make sure that Charles Clark will not be pushing meth in this community for a long time. We hope these innocent children have no long-term damage from his actions.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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