On Thursday night, police found 18 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico in an Elkhart home during a raid. Officials say it's the purest form of the drug they've ever seen, and some of it likely had already been distributed in the area.
If it seems like meth is an issue you've been hearing a lot about, the drugs found Thursday are symptomatic of a unique problem. Unlike people who make the drug in their homes and distribute it to a relatively tight circle of people, the methamphetamine police seized Thursday is pure, police said.
The distribution of that raw product -- a problem Elkhart police say they battled a few years ago -- appears to be back in Elkhart County.
"We do not want this stuff to take another foothold in the community like it once did," said Curtis T. Hill, Jr., prosecuting attorney of Elkhart County.
The investigation has been ongoing since November, Hill said, but events unfolded this week that led to Thursday's raid.
On Monday, police arrested 24-year-old Edgar Humberto Reyes, at the time in possession of $8,500 worth of cocaine. His charges include possession of, and intent to deal, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. He faces up to 150 years in prison.
On Thursday, police made two separate arrests in Elkhart: Miguel Esqueda and Oswaldo Quizaman, both 29 years old.
Esqueda has been charged with possession and intent to deliver methamphetamine and cocaine. He could face hundreds of years in prison.
Thursday's raid was at the home where Quizaman lived with his three young children. The methamphetamine -- known as "ice" because it's the highest grade of meth from Mexico -- lay behind a doghouse in the garage.
The problem of methamphetamine in Elkhart County is nothing new. Police say they hope Thursday's bust will prevent more distribution from Mexico to the local community.
"We're meeting this one head on, while they're still getting organized, while they're still trying to get their distribution lines set up, and we've disrupted that," said Hill.
"Does that mean they may come back again? Let them come. We'll be ready."