Police see jump in number of area meth labs

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Meth is making it's way through Memphis.

"It's widespread," Memphis Police Lt. Mike Shearin said Wednesday. "It's all over this community, unfortunately."

Shearin is on the MPD's organized crime unit, which busted three more meth labs overnight.  One was found at the Budget Lodge on East Brooks, while another was found during a traffic stop at Chickasaw and Sequoia.

The Organized Crime Unit has cleared 12 meth labs this year, including 10 in March.  According to Shearin, new restrictions in Mexico have reduced the amount of meth coming into the United States.

"So the supply is down," he said. "But the demand is still where it was three years ago."

And that is leading people to find new ways to get their fix.

"These addicts have to find a way to get their drugs, so a lot of them are making it themselves," Shearin said.

But meth labs can be extremely dangerous for people neighboring them, both in their homes and on the street.

"Ridding this community of meth is certainly something that's become a priority," Shearin said.

And it's making more work for drug agents, who admit a re-newed, re-focused attention to the issue.

The Memphis Police Department has a new meth task force, with 22 trained officers. Mississippi, meanwhile, just passed a law making ephedrine products prescription only.  Shearin said he expects to see more rolling meth labs in Tennessee as a result.

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