Comments Off on Rogers County Inmate trash crews discover roadside Methamphetamine lab waste

Driving through some of the most beautiful scenery Oklahoma has to offer, few consider the dangers they may be driving past. Along local roads, inmates have found expended mobile methamphetamine (meth) labs — bottles with unknown liquids, tubing, foil and other discarded paraphernalia. 5515620b622d9_image

It’s roadside trash that could harm humans and animals that stumbled upon it.

Mobile meth labs, also referred to as “shake and bakes,” are bottles or other mobile containers used to manufacture meth.

The discovery of roadside meth labs has alerted law enforcement. Each roadside meth lab becomes a crime scene for officials who are called out to tag evidence.

There are two trash detail work crews provided by the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) — one covers the turnpike and one county roads. Thus far, a total of 15 meth containers have been found north of Claremore. Nine have been processed and destroyed.

“We have found a lot of drug paraphernalia, smoking devices and leftover meth labs that are non-active — some are over a year old,” said Rogers County Deputy Chris Houston. “A lot of the time, the inmates will find a bag, raise their hand and we will come over to look at it. We send an investigator out, mark the bag and make further determination on the disposition.”

Inmates opportunities to reduce fines and time while incarcerated in the Rogers County jail.

A partnership with Rogers County District 1 and District 3 has opened up more opportunities for inmates at the jail to knock off $50 a day from fines by being part of a work crew. The amount is regulated by statute. The length of sentences can also be reduced by 50 percent.

“They cannot be violent offenders or have any violent history. They need to have trustee status to make the crew. Those who do not want to participate but clean up at the jail earn $25 a day towards their unpaid fines. If the inmate is sentenced a year, they stay a year. If they are part of a work crew, then they only have to serve fifty percent of their time,” said Houston.

Inmates must meet certain criteria in order to become trustees. The officers pick the crew based off on inmate history. Inmate workers cannot display negative behavior or pose a threat to the public, employee or other inmates.

“The inmates are not forced to work. They choose to work. They have been well trained and want to do this. They would not risk their trustee status by committing a felony while doing the program. Tax dollars feed these inmates and in turn, they pick up trash,” said Sheriff Scott Walton.

Walton added, “This is a good, healthy program. Commissioners Dan Delozier and Ron Burrows have fully supported the program and want to be a part of this. It is good for the inmates, too. Instead of being confined, this gives them a chance to breathe fresh air and make some money. These are not penitentiary-bound guys — maybe they just did not have money to pay their fines.”

Deputies supervise inmates during the waste detail. An inmate security check is done before, during and after work performed.

Since the crews walk one to two miles, drivers are cautioned when traveling county roads.

“We do not have a shoulder to pull off on and have to travel at speeds of two to three miles an hour and sometimes we have to stop. We are working on getting signs to put on the side of the road to alert drivers that we are on the road ahead. Meanwhile, expect someone may be ahead and be prepared to slow down or stop,” Houston said.








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