More Kick Than Cocaine

In the U.S. heartland, a different crime scare is on the loose.

They call it Nazi crank.

It's not a plague of racist skinheads but a spreading wave of drug abusers hooked on speed, a type of methamphetamine cooked up by Nazi Germany.

As CBS News Correspondent Bob McNamara reports, it's cheap, fast, and a recipe for quick death.

Iowa is sick of it.

Another methamphetamine suspect runs from police. Another blazing methamphetamine lab and the meth maker are taken down. And another arrest is added to the hundreds each year now.

"It's so bad that our governor-elect is even considering calling out the national guard," said Dennis Anderson of the Polk County Sheriff Department.

"There are not enough resources being dedicated to this battle. Local law enforcement officials are swamped," said Iowa Governor-elect Tom Vilsack.

The latest methamphetamine fix is a home-cooked powder called Nazi crank, rocks with more kick than cocaine.

"It's cheaper, it lasts longer so if you've only got so much dollars, you want the best bang for your buck," explained Anderson.

Long ago and far from Middle America, Nazi crank had its beginnings in Hitler's Germany.

The Nazis wanted an easily-made stimulant for their battle-weary soldiers and their factory workers supplying the war machine. From cold tablets, alcohol, the lithium contained in batteries, and the deadly ammonia that meth makers steal from farm fertilizer supplies, Nazi crank is an explosive chemical cooked up quickly and cheaply.

Like a cancer, from crank's recent rebirth in Missouri its curse has spread to Midwest states in every direction and is still growing, drug agents say.

Some say people will do anything to get another fix.

One 34-year-old addict lost her children, her home, her job, and almost her life to Nazi crank.

Police expect Nazi crank to bring hundreds more arrests in the coming year and for some, the speed they can't seem to live without could lead to the last trip they take.

Reported by Bob McNamara
©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter