Police: More teens getting their hands on ecstasy

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

QUITMAN COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -  Forget 431 and the interstates.

Local officials say drug traffickers are taking their illegal business to the roads less traveled.

"A lot of these dealers and mules travel back roads or secondary routes to avoid any enforcement on major highways," said Eddie Ingram, Chief Deputy for the Quitman County Sheriff's Office.

Quitman County authorities say that's exactly what four men were trying to do this week when deputies found more than 30 ecstasy pills in a car passing through a sobriety checkpoint in Georgetown.

"The ecstasy was being trafficked from Americus to Panama City, Florida," Ingram said.

And the fact that the suspected transporters were 21 and younger didn't surprise police.

"Ecstasy, in the past two years has definitely been on the rise, especially among high school students and young people. What adolescents don't realize is that it's probably one of the most dangerous drugs on the planet," Ingram added.

Ecstasy will spike your body temperature, sometimes to deadly levels and officials say it contains many of the same ingredients as methamphetamine.

"It takes three cents to manufacture a tablet. That's what it costs the dealers. They sell it in this country for sometimes up to thirty dollars a pop so there's a big profit margin in it," said Ingram.

For Quitman County, it's another bust in their ongoing fight against drugs.

The Quitman County Sheriff's Office has arrested nearly 300 people over the past year, with a team of only six deputies.

Many of those arrests are for illegal drugs. Officials say their aggressive crackdown on drugs has lead to a 90% drop-off in the overall crime rate in Quitman County.

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