Eight people were charged yesterday in New YOrk City in connection with crystal methamphetamine sales. The New York Times reports that the case is part of an attempt to stop the flow of crystal methamphetamine, a addictive stimulant commonly known as crystal meth, crank, ice, and tina, into the city. Parts of the poor rural heartland and the West Coast are strongholds of crystal meth use, but until recently in New York, its use was mainly among patrons of gay clubs.
David N. Kelley, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said crystal meth had grown in popularity as a party drug and is presenting new law enforcement and public health challenges. In the last six months, authorities have made 30 arrests and have recovered more than $2.5 million worth of crystal meth. Kelley said that one dose of crystal meth could maintain a user’s high for an extended period, making it more powerful than an equivalent dose of heroin or cocaine. Health care officials have said that the drug’s growing availability is contributing to a rise in unprotected sex, increasing the transmission of H.I.V. and syphilis. “We hope that there is still time to stem the tide,” said Anthony P. Placido, the special agent in charge of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office.