SAVANNA – Arrests this week at a methamphetamine lab in a Savanna trailer court are evidence of what Carroll County Sheriff Jeff Doran said is a recent comeback of the home-cooked drug.
Homeowner Kindrea Chavez. 33, is charged with aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, methamphetamine delivery, violation of the hypodermic syringes and needles act, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Her infant daughter, who was found in the home during the Tuesday raid, was placed temporarily with the Department of Child and Family Services.
Also arrested were Jeffrey Schmidt, 39, of Savanna, and Travis Aude, 32, of Lanark.
Schmidt is charged with aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, violation of the hypodermic syringes and needles act, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Aude is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sheriff Doran says that meth has made a big comeback in his county, especially in the more rural areas. Carroll County had a similar meth invasion in the late ’90s, Doran said, but things are a little different now.
Back then, authorities were busting regular labs; now manufacturers use a “one-pot” method.
“They mix all the ingredients together and just let it cook,” he said. “This is more of a junk product, and it’s easier to make.”
When the courts started to put away the dealers and the cooks caught in the late 90s, things started to clear up a little, Doran said, but now that those people are leaving prison, they’re starting to cook again.
It’s the type of revolving-door cycle seen in court systems throughout America, and the type of problem that restorative justice programs, like drug courts, try to prevent.
Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties all have drug courts – or are working to implement them – but Carroll County does not.
“My understanding from what I hear is that [drug courts] work,” Doran said. “So I would definitely be interested in it if somebody wants to take the horse by the reins on that.”
Drug courts try not to send nonviolent addicts to prison, only to have them be released and re-offend. Those who are accepted participate in a variety of rehabilitative programs and are taught life and job skills. If they successfully graduate, their sentence might be reduced, or their charges dropped altogether.
Doran said the idea of a drug court has been brought up a few times, but it’s never made it off the ground.
The felony drug charges are the first in Carroll County for Chavez, Aude, and Schmidt.
By the numbers
Number of meth-related charges filed in Carroll County in:
To date in 2014: 18
Source: Carroll County Sheriff's Department