20 meth labs dumped on roadsides

Posted: 25th January 2013 by Doc in Uncategorized
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COOKEVILLE — More than 20 discarded “one-pot” meth labs and other drug-related items were found on roadsides in a city neighborhood yesterday, police said.

A cleanup was conducted, and a criminal investigation is underway.

It began Wednesday morning as a Putnam County Jail road crew — inmates who perform roadside cleanup under supervision — worked in the area of Freehill Road.

According to a report by Putnam Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Reams, the supervisor of the road crew, Tom Nelson, contacted deputies around 8:30 a.m. and reported that he and the crew had found “what he thought to be a one-pot lab in a plastic baggy located on the side of the road on Sharon Avenue.”

After finding that discarded meth lab, the crew walked the roadside on Sharon Avenue near Huddleston Road checking for similar items and reported finding “several small plastic bags containing two-liter bottles,” the report says.

Law officers who work meth cases say that meth drug dealers these days are using a pared down, simpler way of “cooking” the dangerous drug.

They mix the poisonous chemicals and other substances in a plastic bottle, a streamlined process that allows for the quick and easy dumping of the remains, and thus a reduced risk of being caught.

Called the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” meth lab, this process has replaced the old way of making meth, which required actually cooking ingredients on a stove or other heat source.

After the road crew reported its findings on the roadside in a Cookeville neighborhood yesterday, deputies and Cookeville Police officers joined to the search and began an investigation aimed at tracing the dumped items to the owners.

Cpl. Billy Hunter and Deputy Reams began by going to the area of the first plastic bag the crew had found.

“I found a one-pot meth lab — used coffee filters, cut open lithium batteries, and a possible suspect’s prescription for cold medicine containing pseudo ephedrine,” Deputy Reams said. “At this time, I walked Sharon Avenue along with the road crew.”

The crew pointed to plastic bags on the roadside which contained two-liter bottles, and the deputy found that there were 14 bags with “one-pot” meth labs in them.

“Each trash bag contained the meth lab and several other items used in the manufacture of meth, including cut lithium batteries, used coffee filters, charcoal lighter fluid, lye, and an unknown acid in a Gatorade bottle,” the report says.

Deputy Reams then contacted the Meth Task Force here and also notified the Meth Task Force Response Truck, which is run by Officer Brian Long.

Deputy Sgt. Jamie Hunter and Cookeville Police Officer Jamie McCurry then joined the investigation, and Officer McCurry “took possession of the 14 one-pots that had been found,” the report says.

The deputies and the road crew then undertook to check Free Hill Road for dumped meth items.

“While checking Free Hill Road, Mr. Nelson and his road crew advised they had found several more plastic bags that contained two-liter bottles near Stockton Lane,” the report says.

When the deputies checked that area further, they found “six more one-pot meth labs, along with several other trash bags with used meth components inside of them,” the report continues.

Deputy Chris Miller arrived then to assist in the clean-up of the dump sites, and once all of the labs were collected, they were turned over to Officer Long for disposal, Deputy Reams said.

“An on-going investigation will be conducted by the Sheriff’s Department and the Cookeville Police Department in an attempt to find all suspects involved,” Reams said.

 

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