In April 22 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Russell Springs Police Chief Joseph M. Irvin is urging citizens to use caution as a feared national trend, known as trash meth labs, has now appeared locally.
The trash lab in question was brought to the police department on Wednesday afternoon by an unknowing local woman who found it in a ditch line near her home on West Hwy. 80 in Russell Springs.
Irvin said the lady had no clue that the two-liter bottle contained the unstable remnants of the methamphetamine production process .
“This is what's left after they've cooked,” Irvin said. “What you primarily have in there is what's left of the lithium strips and ammonia and they've poured the rest of it out of there.”
The scary part is, according to Irvin, the remnants are toxic and potentially explosive while blending in with other litter along local roadways.
“Just imagine if some kids had gotten into that and poured it out,” he said. The result could be acidic burns or even an explosion that would cause serious injury or even death.
In the new national trend, culprits appear to be using their automobiles as mobile meth labs and discarding the evidence out of the vehicle's windows along the roads in an effort to destroy it and evade authorities while risking getting caught by leaving potential finger prints behind.
This new “shake and bake” method of making meth is a quick, one-pot recipe that requires only a few pills, a two-liter bottle and common household chemicals, according to national media reports.
Meth makers have adopted this new, cheaper way to cook meth as home cooking labs are more prone to being caught and disassembled by law enforcement.
As summer nears and more people begin spending their time outdoors, Irvin said he wanted everyone to stay cautious and aware about objects that look questionable.
Used plastic water bottles, two-liter bottles, old tubing, dirty gloves and empty packs of medicine should all be avoided.
Irvin said any bottles found with a white, puddy-like substance with black specks in it should be immediately avoided and left for the professionals to clean up.
“There is nothing that would legitimately have something like that in it,” he said. The lab brought in last week would cost between $800 and $900 to dispose of, Irvin said. State police officers took the lab to be disposed of late Wednesday afternoon.
One two-liter bottle could produce as much as eight grams of meth, reports indicate.
If you suspect a trash lab Irvin said to call the Russell Springs Police Department at 270-866-3636 or 911.
National Drug Enforcement Administration statistics show the number of meth labs, dumps and equipment found from 2007 to 2008, the latest available data, rose nearly 15 percent, to 6,783, from 5,910.