Comments Off on ‘Shake and bake’ meth labs on the rise; BCI agents worry about danger to innocent victims

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A NewsChannel5 investigation has uncovered an increase in the use of a methamphetamine-making method that could endanger you and your family.

It’s known as the “shake and bake”, or the one-pot method, and it now accounts for approximately 95 percent of meth lab seizures in Ohio, according to Scott Duff, the head of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s meth unit.


A meth lab seized by drug enforcement agents at the Summit County Sheriff’s Department.

Duff said users need only one soda or water bottle to create a highly explosive meth lab. Then, they often leave the flammable trash on streets or parking lots, where any person could come into contact with it.

“We’re dealing with an extraordinary number of fires and explosions as a result of that method,” said Dennis Lowe, an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent who works for Duff and is an expert at dismantling meth labs.

Lowe personally knows how volatile one-pot labs can be. He was called to dismantle a meth lab left in a McDonald’s parking lot in Chillicothe in July. It exploded in his face.

“I had a fireball erupt out of my bucket that I was working in… a fireball kind of engulfed my head,” he said.

A firefighter standing by the site quickly extinguished the flames. The Nomex suit Lowe was wearing protected him from the blast. Without the suit, Lowe said he would have been severely burned.

The consequences of a meth lab explosion can also be deadly. One man was killed and four were hurt when a meth lab exploded inside an Ashtabula nursing home in March.

“The one-pot method has certainly… Revolutionized the way we manufacture meth and the way we respond to those incidents,” said Duff.

Users used to need elaborate lab equipment to make the drug, according to Bill Holland, a spokesperson for the Summit County Sheriff’s Department. The “shake and bake” is a more convenient, acheap and easy way for meth users to make the drug.

“Technically, you could carry one, an active one, in a backpack or in the trunk of your car and just drive around while you’re cooking meth,” said Holland.

Holland said if you see a bottle that contains brown sludge at the bottom or you see pieces of metal floating in liquid, do not attempt to handle the bottle. It may be a meth lab. Holland said you should immediately call your local law enforcement agency so they can safely remove the meth trash.

So far, 579 meth labs have been seized on Ohio. Duff said he expects the number to grow as law enforcement officers continue to investigate labs and report the data to the state. In 2011, 376 meth labs were seized.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug made from legal ingredients, including pseudoephedrine. Duff sid it is more predominant in rural areas of the state.


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