Meth lab finds down in county
But the news might not be all good
Saturday, January 25, 2014 4:00 AM
The number of methamphetamine labs seized in Jefferson County dropped in 2013, but authorities believe that may be part of a larger problem.
In 2013, the Indiana State Police Clandestine Team - the only agency certified to clean up meth labs locally - was called to the locations of 12 meth labs in Jefferson County, which is down from 20 the previos year.
The decrease goes against the state trend, which showed 1,808 meth lab seizures in 2013 compared to 1,726 the year before.
Vanderburgh County had the highest number of seized meth labs last year at 115.
The state also recorded an all-time high of 1,551 meth-related arrests.
Local law enforcement said the decreased meth numbers in Jefferson County could be a sign of where the war on drugs is headed.
"Obviously in the last few years, heroin abuse has increased, and that's probably part of it," said Madison Police Chief Dan Thurston.
There's been several factors that have contributed to people moving away from meth, including harsher laws. The General Assembly has passed several laws making it more difficult to acquire pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used to manufacture meth.
Those recent laws, coupled with changes to the drugs made by the pharmaceutical companies, have made the manufacturing process more difficult.
Jefferson County Sheriff John Wallace said his department numbers suggest a decrease in meth cases and meth labs, but an increase in the number of heroin cases. But he thinks law enforcement also has scared off anyone wanting to manufacture or deal in the community.
"This certainly has been a proactive county," Wallace said. "I feel that our efforts have made a significant impact on meth."
Meth lab seizures in
2000 - 0
2001 - 0
2002 - 1
2003 - 6
2004 - 14
2005 - 11
2006 - 7
2007 - 14
2008 - 9
2009 - 7
2010 - 14
2011 - 12
2012 - 20
2013 - 12