3 meth labs this year; Chief Deputy predicts more to come | Crime
SALISBURY - So far this year three labs used for the manufacture of the illegal drug methamphetamine have been found in Rowan County, according to the sheriff. Last year there was a total five meth labs located.
Investigators blame the increased presence on new ways to produce meth.
"The amount of pseudoephedrine is less, so they go to making pseudoephedrine on a smaller scale," said David Ramsey, Chief Deputy with the Rowan Sheriff's Office. We're actually seeing this technique of one pot cooking, the shake and bake method, it's becoming a lot more prevalent, it's simpler to make than prior methods being used. The technique was developed in the west and made its way here, and this is the result of it making it here. The sheer size of the labs is being reduced because the availability of pseudoephedrine is not there."
Eight to ten years ago meth lab discoveries were more common. A statewide crackdown that resulted in pseudoephedrine being placed behind the counter in drug stores seemed to curtail some of the activity, but now investigators say meth cooks have found ways around the shorter supply.
"I think we're going to continue to see a spike in these small scale meth laboratories and just simply because it's not that complicated to make. Pseudoephedrine is still available it just take more of an effort to get it," Ramsey added.
Local authorities have gotten one break in recent weeks when it comes to dealing with meth labs. The state is now once again paying for the clean up process.
"State and federal government are picking up the tab effective this week and more recent past county governments have been saddled with the burden of the clean up," Ramsey added.
The bill to clean up a smaller lab could run around $1000, while larger variations could cost between $3000 and $7000.
Now holding facilities have been established across the state, including one in neighboring Davie County, that will take the hazardous materials associated with meth lab clean up and hold them until they can be destroyed by private contractors.
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