Sheriff: Nation's meth epidemic hits Kerr County

Seven arrests within a one week's time


KERRVILLE, TX – Along with its Hill Country neighbors, Kerr County has been hit hard by the nation's meth epidemic, according to Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer.

"All the agencies decided they'd had enough," Hierholzer said.

In response, the sheriff said his agency and law enforcement in Kendall and Comal Counties, New Braunfels and Fredericksburg took part in a joint operation led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Last Thursday, seven persons were arrested in the Hill Country on federal charges. But Hierholzer said Kerr County had the most arrests last week, five individuals facing state charges including possession and delivery of methamphetamines.

He said nearly a pound of meth was seized along with more than 20 assault weapons, rifles and handguns. The sheriff said two more were taken into custody Monday in separate arrests.

Hierholzer said meth labs are now rare in the Hill Country. With marijuana now legal in parts of the U.S. the sheriff said  Mexican drug cartels are trying to make up for lost profits by pushing meth across a porous border.

"Unfortunately, it's so addictive and there are so many people addicted to it, it's driving our burglaries, thefts, forgeries," the sheriff said.

He said up to 80 percent of crime in Kerr County is drug-related, and 70 percent of that can be blamed on meth.

The sheriff said his agency has even encountered freestanding so-called "sober houses" for drug addicts that he compares to crack houses.

He said, "We have to take these people off the streets and that's what we're going to do."