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Latest news: 03-11-09

Oklahoma gets tough on pseudoephedrine reporting

The number of meth lab busts in the state has plummeted 90 percent, from about 1,300 five years ago to about 300 last year, but the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is convinced it can do better.

Bureau Director Darrell Weaver said his agency will work with pharmacies to prominently place stickers reminding customers and employees that all sales of pseudoephedrine are reported.

"We know some meth cooks send multiple people into pharmacies with several identification cards, purchasing the maximum 9 grams with each card,” bureau spokesman Mark Woodward. "This awareness program is designed to deter this so-called ‘smurfing.’”

The sticker campaign launched Tuesday doesn’t involve any new laws, Woodward said; it just reminds people of existing ones. But narcotics officials think it might be enough to stop some would-be meth producers.

"Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know that the sales are recorded and reported to us,” Woodward said.

Full story from The Oklahoman

Meth lab raids on the increase in La.

Leesville, La. -- The crackdown on illegal drugs in Vernon Parish, La., continues at a torrid pace.

The Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force seized the fourth methamphetamine lab in less than a month'and arrested Thomas Paul Smith, of Anacoco, in connection with the incident, according to a press release  from the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office.

Though all of the labs seized by the task force have been what Chief of Detectives Marvin Hilton characterized as "suitcase-type" labs, they are still extremely hazardous. The small labs generate enough methamphetimine for perhaps two people, Hilton said.

From the Leesville Daily Leader

Couple leaves 5-year-old, meth in car while they gamble

RENO, Nev. -- A Reno couple were arrested Monday after police said they left a 5-year-old boy alone in their car during a snowstorm while they gambled inside a local casino.

Authorities said they also found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle where the boy was abandoned for more than two hours.

Rene Perry and Jason Wardrobe, both 31, were booked Monday morning into the Washoe County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment and possession of methamphetamine. They later posted $4,500 bail.

According to police, the couple had gone to Gold Ranch Casino in Verdi around 1 a.m. on Monday, and left the boy in the car. It had been snowing. Sometime after 3 a.m. security noticed the boy standing in the car, crying and pounding on the windows. The couple had been inside gambling.

After police officers contacted the couple, Wardrobe asked if they could retrieve $600 from a hiding place in his car. Officers said they found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine.

From the Reno Gazette-Journal

Second meth lab in two day goes up in flames

TULSA, Okla. - Tulsa firefighters say for the second time in two days and third time in two weeks they've had to put out a fire started by a meth lab.

Capt. Michael Baker says firefighters were called shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday and found flames shooting through the roof of the home in southwest Tulsa.

Authorities say a man who lives at the house is hospitalized with chemical burns to his feet, hands and face. His name and condition were not immediately released.

Investigators say the remnants of a meth lab were found inside the home.

A fire blamed on a methamphetamine lab seriously injured four people at an apartment complex one day earlier.

By The Associated Press

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