Pair busted in meth sting

Two island residents were arrested Thursday at a Hyla Avenue home in connection with the possession and sale of methamphetamines.

Bainbridge Police arrested a 51-year-old man for allegedly selling meth during a sting operation. Police served a search warrant at the man’s home and seized additional drugs and paraphernalia, including scales and packaging materials. A 53-year-old man was also arrested at the home on meth possession charges, and both were booked at the Kitsap County Jail on felony drug charges.

Detective Scott Weiss, who led the police operation, said meth use on the island has nearly equalled marijuana in popularity.

“In the mid-’90s, meth almost replaced cocaine, and it’s now almost as common as marijuana,” Weiss said. “The crowd on meth is getting younger, with more teens and people in their low 20s using it.”

Methamphetamines are synthetic stimulants produced and sold illegally in pill form, capsules, powder and chunks. Meth’s properties are similar to adrenaline, stimulating the central nervous system for euphoric – but extremely addictive – effects.

Meth is often crafted locally by “cooks” using a combination of readily available ingredients, including cold medicines and drain cleaner.

No evidence of meth production was found at the Hyla Avenue house, although police believe the island has a handful of hidden labs.

Despite meth’s increasing prevalence, Weiss has seen a near 20 percent decline in meth use thanks to recent laws that have made the drug’s ingredients harder to obtain.

“It used to be that people would walk into Central Market with a bag and brush off with their arm an entire shelf of cold medicine and run out of the store,” he said. “Now most of that is behind the counter.”

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