Comments Off on Indiana State Police Trooper Rusty Slater gets advanced Methamphetamine lab training
The production of methamphetamine has seen drastic changes in the past five years.

Although many people think of a scientific laboratory with kettles and beakers when they hear the term “meth lab,” Indiana State Police Trooper Rusty Slater says that is not at all what officers are seeing now on the streets.

Rusty Slater

Rusty Slater



Slater, a trooper in the Pendleton District, which includes Fayette, Randolph, Union and Wayne counties, recently attended advanced meth training at the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Academy in Quantico, Va.

“What we see a lot of now is the one-pot method, where they just put a bunch of household chemicals in a plastic bottle and let it react,” Slater said.

While at Quantico, Slater’s training included tactical entry into a home with a meth lab, while wearing a gas mask and protective clothing. Officers also were given training for explosives and first aid in addition to classroom training and hands-on experience.

Slater, a seven-year veteran of ISP, was the only Indiana officer to attend the 40-hour training course. Last year, Madison County (Anderson) led the state with 92 meth lab seizures, followed by Vanderburgh County (Evansville) and Delaware County (Muncie). Both Madison and Delaware counties are in the Pendleton District.

According to state statistics, Wayne County had 15 meth lab seizures in 2012, with Randolph County having six and Fayette and Union counties two each. Henry County had nine seizures in 2012.

Statewide, ISP located 1,663 clandestine labs in 2012, an increase of exactly 300 from 2011. Before 2009 when the one-pot method began to become more popular, ISP never located more than 1,137 labs in a year (2004, before numbers around the state dropped to fewer than 900 labs statewide in both 2007 and 2008).

Because of the increased amount of production, Slater said anyone who notices the following signs or products should contact local law enforcement or the Indiana State Police immediately: strong ammonia or solvent smell, rubber air line tubing, camp fuel cans, plastic bottles, pseudoephedrine packages, lithium battery casings and propane tanks with blue or green discoloration around the valve.

“These chemicals are dangerous,” Slater said. “They can cause fires or explosions, and if you are near the chemicals, you can get (chemical) poisoning — especially if you are living in an apartment building next to someone making meth.

“But you really never know. A lot of people are now carrying the bottles in backpacks and transporting them because it is easier to conceal.”

According to ISP, 81 percent of labs located by authorities in 2012 were of the one-pot variety.

Additionally, Slater that one-pot cooking systems and their leftover materials are being found in fields and wooded areas in rural locations. If you find these materials, do not attempt to handle them or move them, but call Indiana State Police meth tip line at (800) 453-4756.





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