PICKENS COUNTY — “It’s not everyday that you pull over a lawn mower for driving on the wrong side of the road and take the driver to jail for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia,” the Liberty Police Department posted on its Facebook wall.
But on Monday, that’s exactly what happened.
Alex Tyson Bruce was arrested in Liberty for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $10,000 surety. He remained in jail Wednesday night.
Although it may seem comical — being pulled over for driving down the road the wrong way on a lawn mower — what Bruce’s arrest really highlights is the problem Pickens County is facing with methamphetamines.
Last winter, Pickens County sheriff’s deputies arrested nearly 60 people in a year-long methamphetamine sting operation known as “Operation Community Response.” In 2012, another major drug operation was carried out after eight months of undercover work in conjunction with the Easley Police Department. That one led to 26 arrests.
According to the DEA, meth usage is on the rise, particularly in South Carolina. A released report revealed that in 2014, there were 357 total “meth clandestine laboratory incidents” in the state. Nationally, there were 9,338. In Georgia, right next door, there were 24.
To combat the illegal drug’s usage and sale in the area, the PCSO utilizes the Special Operations Unit.
According to the PCSO, the primary duty of the Special Operations Unit is to investigate every aspect of narcotics and dangerous drug violations, from street level dealers to national distributors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, methamphetamines are the most widely illegally manufactured, distributed, and abused type of amphetamine. An estimated 4 million people in the United States alone have used methamphetamine at least once.
Lawn mowers aside, this is no laughing matter.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.