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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: meth

Meth kingpin gets 20 years; it’s a 32-year-old woman from Homedale

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A woman accused of leading a drug-peddling gang that brought methamphetamine into Idaho by the pound will spend 20 years in a federal prison. Amanda Smith of Homedale was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Boise. Prosecutors say the 32-year-old Smith sold 100 percent-pure methamphetamine to Norteno gang members, stashed the proceeds in out-of-state accounts and directed people to cross into Nevada and return to Idaho with their illicit cargo. Prosecutors say Smith once helped kidnap a drug customer at gunpoint, to make sure a payment for a drug deal was made. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said there's been an alarming spike in high-potency methamphetamine coming from California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. Three others in Smith's drug ring previously received sentences of up to 16 years behind bars.

Researcher: Meth decline not linked to ad campaign in Montana

A new study concludes that a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to deter youths from trying methamphetamines has failed to speed up a long-standing decline in the drug’s use, the Associated Press reports. Economics researcher D. Mark Anderson of the University of Washington said Tuesday that abuse of the drug already was on the decline because of more aggressive law enforcement before the high-profile Montana Meth Project began in 2005. Identical programs have since been launched in seven other states: Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Wyoming, Colorado, Hawaii and Georgia; click below for a full report from AP reporter Matthew Brown.

State budget cuts eliminate largest youth drug and risk survey

Idaho has made much of a startling statistic - that teen meth use in the state dropped 52 percent from 2007 to 2009, the largest percentage drop of any state, just as the Idaho Meth Project was ramping up its graphic anti-meth TV ads and billboards. But that percentage was boosted by a small increase from 2005 to 2007; 11 states actually saw greater declines from 2005 to 2009, according to the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. A separate, similar survey with a much larger sample size shows smaller, steadier drops in teen meth use in Idaho - similar to drops seen for the past decade nationwide.

That second survey, the Idaho School Climate Survey, has been conducted every other year since 1996, and it would have been administered to 15,000-plus Idaho teens again next month - except that state budget cuts have eliminated the funding. “It’s a huge blow,” said Matt McCarter, safe and drug-free schools coordinator for the Idaho State Department of Education. “We’ll lose the trend data. … It’s going to be a huge impact, because we’ll have less data to be able to inform programs, policy and funding.” He added, “It’s a blow to the program, but they’re impossible decisions. The money’s not there, and you’ve got to keep the lights on and the doors open and the janitors there.” You can read my full story here at

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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