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The Nodaway County Sheriff’s Office arrested a methamphetamine dealer March 15 at 515 E. Seventh St.

Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong said an undercover investigation was opened after they received word from several individuals that Maryville resident Cody Masser was distributing meth throughout Maryville and Nodaway County.

“We went to work at trying to make some controlled drug buys from him,” Strong said. “We made three (buys), which is kind of a guarantee to show that we are not coercing him to do something he wouldn’t do normally.”

After making the buys, Strong said they received a search warrant to gather evidence against Masser.

“We went to Mr. Masser’s residence, and once we got inside there, Mr. Masser was taken into custody on probable cause for distribution of narcotics, specifically methamphetamines,” Strong said.

Strong said Masser was charged with a Class D felony for three counts of the distribution of methamphetamine.

“Once we found some evidence in the apartment that field-tested positive for methamphetamines and some smoking apparatuses, the prosecutor gave us an arrest warrant that was signed by the judge.”

While Missouri used to be regarded as the drug capital of the United States with meth being the top drug of choice, according to WalletHub.com, Missouri is now ranked No. 2 for drug use.

Strong said meth is still a drug of choice for many throughout Nodaway County and has gone through a number of changes.

“I’ve been doing a little bit longer than 40 years, and back when I started, we saw some homemade pills that were pretty common, referred to as ‘white crosses,’ which was an amphetamine,” Strong said. “Eventually, we started to see what was called methamphetamine, which was being injected.”

Strong said the way in which the drug was made has also undergone a number of changes throughout the years.

“We saw it coming in back in the day when you had to be a chemist to make it, the P2P (phenyl-2-propanone) labs those were called, and then that evolved into the small shake and bake labs and that kind of drug Missouri out to be the meth lab of the United States,” Strong said.

Strong said Missouri became a leader in meth production because the ingredients needed to make the drug were easily attainable.

“The ingredients used to make it were pretty readily available, especially in agricultural areas, because you use anhydrous ammonia, which they would take out of farm tanks and then go buy the pseudoephedrine-based cold pills at the pharmacy,” Strong said.

While meth is still heavily present throughout Missouri, it is no longer being made in labs. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the last lab seizure in Nodaway County was in 2011.

Strong said this is because a majority of the meth seen in the United States is imported from Mexico.

“The Mexican Cartel starting targeting the United States with pure methamphetamine,” Strong said. “It has a distinct appearance to it; they call it ‘ice,’ and really that is about all we see anymore. It is really, really rare to come across a meth lab, whereas we used to find them all the time.”

Strong said he encourages people to report anyone they may believe is selling drugs.

“If people have concerns about a neighbor or somebody that they know or suspect is maybe distributing drugs, and you can tell that by the in-and-out traffic and maybe the individuals going in and out,” Strong said. “They can call us, and we’d be glad to check it out, and they can do so anonymously.”

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