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Drug Task Force Notices Growing Trend of Guns With Local Dealers - KOAM TV 7

Drug Task Force Notices Growing Trend of Guns With Local Dealers

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Joplin, MO -

Members of the Ozarks Drug Enforcement team say they've confiscated $10,000 worth of meth in Joplin.  The team serves five counties in Southwest Missouri, and members say they've seen a growing, dangerous trend in drug busts.

Kaden Schrader just moved into his home.

"We're just going to live here until we renovate our other house," says Schrader.

What happened at a nearby garage is making Schrader second guess his choice of temporary stay.

"As we were moving in, a SWAT team pulled in front of my house," says Schrader.

Members of the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team say they seized a total of 96 grams of meth from the garage and a home that's about a five minute drive away.

Back in the 1990's...

"96 grams of meth would be probably, if not one of the highest, probably the highest seizures at that time," says Chad Allison with the drug task force team.

Allison says most local meth dealers have been getting more quantities of the drug from Mexican cartels, and this most recent Joplin case include meth from south of the border.

But Allison says a more recent trend is local drug dealers found with guns.

"Up to October, not including November, we've served 88 search warrants and we've seized 124 firearms," says Allison.

Allison says one gun was seized in this drug bust.

"I just think you're going to see more and more violence occurring with the increased availability of meth on the streets," says Allison.

Allison says law enforcement will continue to heavily rely on anonymous tips from the public about suspected drug activities.

"I was trying to get a fresh, new start, but I'm going to have to lock my doors and maybe get a camera after hearing about all this stuff," says Schrader.

In addition to meth and a gun, the drug enforcement team says it seized $9,000 and items used to make meth.  Authorities have charged 39-year-old Autumn Taylor in connection with the bust.

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