Comments Off on Methamphetamine lab numbers on target for record-breaking year in Cass, Montgomery and Tippecanoe Counties in Indiana

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – It’s not the most welcoming Top 20 list, but Cass, Montgomery and Tippecanoe Counties are among Indiana’s 20 counties with the most meth lab busts during the first seven months of the year. Meanwhile, other area counties like Benton, Carroll, and Jasper are near the bottom.

Tippecanoe and Montgomery Counties were tied up for 16th place throughout Indiana for methamphetamine labs dismantled through July. Each had 19 meth lab busts. Cass County follows them with 18 meth labs. Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Coordinator Brock Russell said these numbers could exceed last year’s Tippecanoe County figure of 38 labs, which put the county in the Top Ten of Indiana counties.

“I think Montgomery County might be a little bit ahead of last year’s pace and I think Tippecanoe County is right where it was last year. So, they’re not going away, the problem still continues to be there,” said Russell.

Neighboring Benton, Carroll, and Jasper Counties each had one meth lab. Russell said population has a lot to do with it.

“You have some counties that have a larger city in it, like Lafayette, as opposed to another county that has a smaller city in it, like Fowler. There’s going to be more demand for that particular drug, so there’s going to be more production going on,” explained Russell.

Russell said the way to manufacture meth may play a role as well. He said the one-pot method is the most popular and most mobile.

“Generally speaking, the odors aren’t as strong as the birch reduction method. It’s probably a little easier to conceal and harder to find or locate,” said Russell.

Russell said some of the labs are discovered through pseudoephedrine sales checks, which can now be done online. He said other labs are discovered through meth users who have been arrested and give up locations and other users. But he said most of the labs are discovered through tips from the general public.

“I think some people are hesitant because they’re not quite sure whether, ‘Well, should I call? Should I not? Not really sure what this is or what I’m looking at.’ No. Go ahead and give us a call and let us make that determination,” said Russell.

Russell said the number of meth labs dismantled usually goes up in the fall and spring. The farmers are out planting and harvesting and may notice a suspicious bag or vehicle.

As a whole, Indiana is on target to have a record-breaking year. Last year, police busted 1,400 labs. In just the first seven months of this year, they have dismantled almost 1,100.

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