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Latest news: 3-24-2010

Tenn. sees 76% increase in lab seizures in 2009

TN - With four meth lab busts in one month, the drug is a runaway problem in Memphis, and it's the same across the state. So far this year police statewide have busted more than 60 meth labs, and that's already outpacing last year's numbers. "We finished out in 2009 at more than 1437 lab seizures, which was about a 76 percent increase over 2008,” explained Tommy Farmer, who works with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as director of the state’s Methamphetamine Task Force. He said that arrest rate is thanks to many reasons, including more vigilant neighbors, and stiff penalties.

Full story, WLMT-TV

Educating residents about labs pays off

SC - Lexington County deputies made another meth lab bust over the weekend, giving them nine since the beginning of the year. That number is just about a third of the number of labs shut down last year.  In 2009, they shut down 26 labs.  Educating residents about these labs has been a big part of their efforts and so far it's paid off. "We were able to enter the home and we found a fully operational meth lab," says Sheriff James Metts about their Sunday bust, "They were taken into custody and charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine."

Full story, WLTX-TV

Meth has no barriers, takes everything

MS - Methamphetamine is popping up in places you wouldn't expect. Lt. Curtis Spiers, Commander of the Jackson County Narcotics Task Force, says the growing list of professionals busted making meth is the "dirty little secret" of the drug. "While it's considered a cheap drug to make it doesn't have a barrier that stops it from going into an affluent neighborhood."says Spiers. Friday, Jackson County narcotics investigators discvored a meth lab inside a chiropractic clinic on Highway 613 in Moss Point. Brady Toulme, a chiropractor, was arrested.

Full story, WKRG-TV

Minn. sees 65% decrease in children involved with meth arrests

MN - At the beginning of this century, methamphetamine production and use in Minnesota, as in many other states, was escalating dramatically. The disturbing trend brought with it all the crimes, costs and societal ills associated with the drug. Kanabec County Sheriff Steve Schulz recalls how his resources and budget were severely strained. "For a few years, meth was consuming more than half my budget -- one-half million to $700,000 annually -- coming not only from our law-enforcement budget, but also the jail and dispatch. We had so many meth-related inmates we had to build a new jail. Most counties were in the same predicament, and our regular public-safety functions suffered greatly at the expense of responding to meth."

Full story, The Star Tribune

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