Deputies carry out county-wide meth round-up - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Deputies carry out county-wide meth round-up

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Sheriff's deputies and ATF agents were on the hunt Thursday for 22 suspects indicted earlier this week for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine.

The meth-making round-up sent deputies to every corner of the county - and beyond. 

"Earlier this week the state grand jury did return 22 indictments for promoting the manufacturing of meth," Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons said.

The investigation that led investigators to Munford, Tennessee where Tipton County officers assisted in the arrest of Rusty Wilson.  At Wilson's, officers found meth making materials and rescued a 4 week old child that was inside the home.   

"We deployed 25 of our sheriff's deputies along with three Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents," Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell said.

The suspects were singled out by a database that tracks people purchasing more than the legal amount of psuedoephedrine, the main ingredient used to make meth.  A law was passed in 2005 that monitors and restricts purchases of pharmacy products that contain psuedoephedrine. 

It seemed to be working - until now. 

"The number of lab seizures and the number of arrests in Shelby County related to meth have more than tripled compared to this time last year," Gibbons said.

Investigators blame the dramatic increase on a struggling economy and the ease in which meth can be made.

"Quite frankly, it can be made literally in the back seat of your car as you're driving around town," Luttrell said.

Law enforcement officials vowed to remain vigilant in their quest for more arrests, calling meth a drug more dangerous than crack that threatens the entire community.

Luttrell said the Sheriff's Department hoped to have all 22 suspects in custody by the end of the day, carrying out arrests in Bartlett, Millington, Cordova, Arlington, Munford, and Brighton.

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