Comments Off on West Michigan Enforcement Team offers a look at search for Methamphetamine dump sites

635659251280879432-meth-dump-siteOTSEGO, Mich. (WZZM) — Allegan County authorities say meth remains a huge problem. This week, WZZM 13 followed undercover officers from the West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET) as they searched for meth dump sites.

In rural Allegan County, spring cleaning means something different to the undercover officer leading a team with the drug task force WEMET.

WZZM 13 has been asked not to show team members’ faces as they search for meth dump sites.

The WEMET team leader said those sites contain “the toxic materials that are leftover from a methamphetamine cook.”

They examine garbage, like plastic bags or bottles, for indications of something much more sinister.

“If we find something through the side of the bag, than it’s time to suit up,” said the undercover officer.

That time came while WZZM 13 followed the team around a meth dump site just south of Otsego.

“He’s putting on a fire proof suit right now,” the team leader said of an officer sealing himself from head to toe and wearing a special mask.

“It’s an air-purifying respirator; there’s a couple toxic gases that are produced at meth labs,” said the undercover officer.

The team discovered the meth-making materials by simply driving by. With a closer look, remnants of a chemical reaction are visible.

“Anytime you see a bottle with any kind of sludge in it, it’s probably meth-lab related,” said the team leader. “The biggest concern is that a person or a child is going to pick up one of those bottles and either inhale some hydrogen chloride gas or have a reaction vessel start on fire.”

The hazardous materials are placed in a container, carefully marked, and transported to an authorized storage facility.

Unfortunately, in this case, like most, there was not enough evidence to prosecute anyone.

“Fifteen percent of the dump sites have evidence with them — the other 85 percent do not,” said the undercover officer.

For now, the search for the next big meth bust continues on rural roadways and in empty fields.

“The best part of the job is when you get people in the system, and then when they’re out of the system they’re clean and sober and not using meth anymore,” the team leader said.

WEMET provided WZZM 13 with at least one hopeful statistic: the department says between 80 and 90 percent of people who are arrested and sent through Allegan County’s meth rehab program stop using the drug.

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