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Crystal Meth Claims Howard Brown Staffer

By Aaron Bailey in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 18, 2005 3:40PM

hobro-anderson.jpgMichael Anderson, a senior staff member at Howard Brown Health Center, was arrested yesterday for dealing crystal meth, the same drug his employer was fighting. Howard Brown is the midwest's largest gay and lesbian health center.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, police found 109 grams of meth worth about $36,000 in Anderson's Lakeview apartment and then arrested him at work. He allegedly told police he was selling the drugs to pay for his own habit.

Crystal methamphetamine has become increasingly popular in the gay community. Some say it encourages unprotected sex and the spread of HIV. Last week, a New York man was discovered to be infected with an unprecedented aggressive strain of HIV after reportedly having unprotected sex with hundreds of partners while on meth.

Chicago Police have stepped up efforts to curb meth use, saying meth-related arrests have tripled over the last year.

Anderson's coworkers and state gay-rights workers were stunned. Rick Garcia, political director of Equality Illinois, said, "It is numbing that someone who works at a health agency would be accused of dealing one of the most dangerous narcotics we know."

Still, with a history of 30 years in Chicago, Howard Brown continues its important mission. Said a police spokesman, "It's unfortunate the guy worked for Howard Brown. I don't think [Anderson] blemishes their image."

(photo via Chicago Sun-Times)