Last week, an incident took place that once again showed that methamphetamine manufacturing and use has become all too common in the Upper Peninsula. It should also be a wake-up call to the public to take a stand against meth.
On Oct. 9, the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team was contacted by the Marquette County Sheriff's Department to respond to a methamphetamine dump site in Marquette Township, west of the Target store.
According to UPSET, a teacher from North Star Academy was walking on the trail with seventh- and eighth-grade students when they came upon a smoldering pile of debris on the trail, which turned out to be meth lab components.
The components were cleaned up by UPSET-certified meth responders and placed in approved containers for disposal.
So far, no suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
That same day, in an unrelated incident, a 29-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were arrested during a traffic stop for possession of methamphetamine components and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The man was also arrested on two outstanding warrants out of Delta County.
It is no secret that methamphetamine use and meth labs are entrenched in the U.P. What does seem to be changing, we believe, is how blatantly the material used to manufacture meth is being discarded. In the latest incident, extremely toxic meth materials were stumbled upon by a teacher and his students out on a field trip.
Some of you may remember another incident earlier this year. In that case, components used to manufacture meth were found in a playground in West Iron County. A mother reported it to police after taking her children there to play.
Trails and playgrounds are places that should be safe - not places used by drug dealers to dump toxic waste.
UPSET is doing its part to fight the increasing use and manufacture of meth in the U.P. The public can help by reporting suspicious activity to the police.
When playgrounds and trails become drug dump sites, it's time to fight back.