From common crooks to complex cartels, crime in Missouri is skyrocketing.  Sometimes dubbed the “Ferguson Effect,” criminal activity has increased over 70% in some parts of St. Louis. The city has actually been named the number one murder capital of the nation.

With the whole state of Missouri watching crimes in our backyards, it’s easy to start to notice some of the larger trends.

One example of this trend played out outside of Jefferson City, in the small town of Linn.  It has roughly 1,500 people, one of the county’s three school districts, dozens of small businesses and a hope for the future. But on June 5, 2016, this idyllic community was put under lockdown when a federal fugitive escaped custody while being transported.

While living in fear, residents of Linn and other parts of Osage County found that Jason Biermann was one of five arrested in a meth ring a few counties away. When Biermann was arrested, officials found over a dozen weapons, $25,000 in cash, and over a pound of meth. The meth in their operation had been made in Mexico, smuggled through Texas, and brought to Missouri. This is just a very small picture of what has been happening in Missouri.

In early October, 2016, two other major areas in Missouri saw justice happen to incidents similar to what Linn and mid-Missouri had experienced.

First, Springfield saw two men indicted for distributing at least 24 pounds of meth earlier in the year. The drugs had been mailed to them in workout supplement containers from California. Springfield had another indictment earlier this year, where 12 pounds of meth were seized and a distribution ring was busted. While it is too early to tell where the meth from California originated, the numbers would suggest Mexico: methamphetamine seizures have quadrupled at the U.S.-Mexico border. This same month a driver was arrested in Texas for trying to traffic nearly $1 million in meth from California to Missouri.  

During the same time that the Springfield area law enforcement had their hands full, a DEA spokesperson announced that it had successfully ended an 18-month investigation. In a joint effort by the DEA, ATF, and local law enforcement, officials ended a meth distribution ring. When they indicted and later arrested 39 individuals, they found 190 pounds of meth, worth $3 million, made in super labs in Mexico and brought to Missouri. They also found 16 firearms and more than $1 million in cash. This is being considered a major win for law enforcement and a massive push to clean up the St. Louis metro area.

Due to cartels in Mexico are producing meth in some of the highest quantities in recent history, prices are falling, making it easily accessible, easily affordable, and with the highest quality in recent history, all the more destructive. Missouri is in the crosshairs of the cartels, being an easy distribution and trafficking point for St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, more of the midwest and even the east coast. Even though these events may be victories for the DEA, their mission and the goal of getting serious drugs off of our streets is still prevalent. Whether it is in a large city like St. Louis or a small town like Linn, it is always important to support and help local law enforcement.