Only on 8: DEA finds meth in fire extinguishers; calls seizure the sign of a larger issue

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Drug Enforcement Administration made a large methamphetamine bust early this week, finding the dangerous drugs stuffed inside fire extinguishers just outside of Las Vegas. 

Agents exclusively spoke to 8 News Now, expressing their relief to get this meth off the streets. However, they also call this an example of the real threat this drug poses across Clark County. 

“I’ve seen that before, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Neill told 8 News Now of the meth in fire extinguishers. “Many years ago, but now it’s coming back.”

Neill said DEA agents joined the Clark County Gang Task Force to investigate a local, criminal street gang that was well known to traffic drugs. 

“Any time you bring drugs or you’re selling drugs,” Neill added. “You are going to bring violence.” 

In the early morning hours of February 3, 2020, enforcement officers tracked down two suspects driving into Las Vegas from Los Angeles along Interstate 15. 

When they inspected the vehicle in question, authorities discovered 30 pounds of meth stored inside 10 fire extinguishers. That equates to approximately 96,000 individual doses. Each dose has the power to get a person high for 24 to 48 hours. 

While Neill called this confiscation a win, he said the deeper issue behind it is just beginning. 

“This could be the calm before the storm,” he explained. “Before we start seizing even more methamphetamine.”

In 2017, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported over 9,000 deaths related to methamphetamine use across The United States. Neill told 8 News Now Clark County is also facing a real risk when it comes to this dangerous drug. 

“More people are dying of methamphetamine overdoses than prescription drugs,” he said of our local statistics.

Therefore, Neill and his counterparts hope the DEA’s efforts to stop methamphetamine operations will make Las Vegas a safer city for everyone. 

“If I can lower the number of deaths in Clark County,” Neill concluded. “I feel like I’m doing my job.”

The two people inside the car at the time of the bust were taken into police custody and charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. 

The 30 pounds of methamphetamine seized is worth at least $45,000 in Nevada. 

Authorities said it all started when agents go a tip that someone working for a Las Vegas street gang was set to smuggle methamphetamine into Las Vegas from Los Angeles.

They tracked the suspect down and stopped him along I-15, finding 10 fire extinguishers in the back of the car. Each one was filled with three pounds of meth.

Assistant Special Agent Daniel Neill told us it’s a win to get dangerous drugs off the street.

“You look at the Clark County statistics here right, and more people are dying here of methamphetamine than prescription drugs. So, once we can get even a little bit of methamphetamine off the street, it’s definitely worth it,” Neill said.

The DEA worked with a few other Valley agencies to make this bust, including Metro, North Las Vegas Police and the Clark County Gang Task Force.

To give you some perspective of exactly how much damage 30 pounds of meth can do, just one pound can dole out over 3,000 individual doses.

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