The Wichita Police Department is tackling the methamphetamine problem, which has been linked to property crimes and persons crimes. 

Persons crimes such as aggravated assaults with an additional drug charge have more than doubled in the last three years. Property crimes such as burglaries with an additional drug charge have also doubled. 

"We're pretty convinced that methamphetamine is driving both the persons crimes and the burglary crimes," said Deputy Chief Jose Salcido.

The cost of entry into the world of methamphetamines is low.

A gram of meth is about $40 to $60, and an ounce of it is about $600.

"Journey into the meth addiction does not start with meth. You have 15-16-17-year-olds that try marijuana," said Salcido. 

He added, "At some point, a good number of them will try methamphetamine. Some won't move forward into addiction but a good number will."

There is constant supply coming in from across the border.

"The Mexican drug cartel started producing methamphetamine at industrial scales. What that resulted in is an oversupply in the United States of methamphetamine," said Salcido.

A pound of meth cost was about $18,000 a decade ago. Now, it is $3,500.

"It's so much cheaper. It's so much easier to get and so there's a lot more people that are getting addicted to meth," said Capt. Paul Duff, Wichita Police. 

Domestic meth, which had about a 39% purity level, is rare on the streets. 

"The super labs started popping up in Mexico, so they were doing the higher grade, higher purity meth at a much, much cheaper rate, and they were just importing it all in. So, it's much cheaper to buy the Mexican meth. That pretty much killed the domestic meth market," said Duff.

And, Kansas is centrally located on the meth route.

"Wichita is strategically centered at the middle of the country. We have I-35 coming right up from Laredo, straight to here, up to Chicago," said Salcido. "The bulk of the methamphetamine that made it to Chicago was either warehoused here or went through here and went to Chicago."

He added, "We used to rarely see a pound or two of meth. But we had a seizure a couple of weeks ago that yielded over 20 pounds," said Salcido, who could not provide additional details as it is an ongoing investigation.

Since the problem of meth is evident, we asked each of the individuals in this report their proposed solutions.

"It's such a nasty drug and it causes so many problems that prevention really is the best plan at this point, "said Charles Giberti, crime analyst. 

"We don't need help to arrest more people. We need help to find treatment beds, treatment facilities, somehow align that with budget priorities," said Salcido.

"We have to get at the younger age. People who are addicted to meth and use meth are going to get meth and they're going to continue to use meth. It needs to be at that youth level," said Duff.

"Enforcement is one aspect to that also. After that education and enforcement, I think we need to try to stem the tide of drugs coming into our community, and that becomes by community being involved," said Sgt Trevor McDonald. "If you see something, say something. We need help from all the citizens. We need those persons to be involved, and we need those persons to come forth with that information to allow us to do our jobs."

And, one of the aunts of Evan Brewer, echoed a similar solution.

"I said it from the beginning, meth is playing a huge part in this... and it's killing off our babies. I hope and pray the community starts getting involved. if they notice anything like that, they need to report it," said Cheryl Brewer.

You can watch Part 1: Meth Problem by clicking here.

If you or someone you know needs help from a substance abuse problem, click here

If you are seeking help, call the Community Crisis Center Hotline at (316) 660-7500 or the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


Wichita Police Department Data

2015 2016 2017 2018
Meth Charges 542 692 760 809
Drug-Related Aggravated Assault 83 117 153 209
Drug and Burglary Cases 47 54 62 90