Bags filled with meth and ingredients to make meth were found Monday in a Publix parking lot in St. Johns County.

Nearly 130 grams of meth oil was found and a man was arrested for producing and trafficking meth.

Now, Action News Jax has learned why the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office thinks meth is on the rise.

A representative with the Sheriff’s Office tells Action News Jax there were 40 meth incidents in 2014, 45 in 2015 and so far in 2016, there have been 58.

On Monday, meth and materials to make meth were found in the parking lot of a St. Augustine Publix.

Joseph Stratton, 30, was arrested on felony charges of producing meth and trafficking meth.

It was around 2:30 p.m. Monday when the SJSO was called to Publix at 955 State Road 16 for a man wanted on warrants. When they talked to the man, he told deputies about several other people he was with, who he said had a meth lab in duffel bags out in the parking lot.

Deputies investigated and found bags near a van. Inside the bags, jars filled with liquid and other materials used to make meth were found.

The total weight of methamphetamine oil found was 127.7 grams.

Even though meth was not actively being cooked in the van or bags, SJSO said there was a danger to those nearby.

“Certainly the precursors, each one of them on their own should they be ignited, could be potentially dangerous,” SJSO Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said.

“Very scary, it’s very scary. Definitely whenever you have kids and you never know what you’re gonna walk out to in the middle of the night or in the middle of the day and find,” one shopper said.

The Sheriff’s Office tells me they believe meth is on the rise because it is now cheaper to buy than crack cocaine.

 

 

 

 

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