On any given day, one can flip open a newspaper and see some crime-related story that is connected to methamphetamine. It might be an arrest, an investigation, a shut-down of an illegal lab, or sadly, death.
The stories are everywhere in various U.S. media, but one factor that is recently making headlines is the presence of mobile meth labs.
Recently a routine traffic stop in Alburquerque ended up evolving into a "full-blown meth lab investigation," reported KOAT. Local police said this "shows a trend" of methamphetamine labs operating around-the-clock, seven days a week.
When police stopped the car, the three occupants were arrested after officers discovered evidence of a mobile meth lab inside the car. This led officers to further investigation which brought them to a mobile home. As the door was answered, a person answered with a bag of meth in his hand.
Detectives are currently working undercover to expose meth labs. According to KOAT, detectives spoke, but on the condition of anonymity because they want to protect their undercover status.
"By keeping it moving around, it makes it harder to track where it is at any one time," one of the detectives told KOAT.
In Kinston, N.C., yesterday police arrested a woman who was in the midst of cleaning out a motel room that contained a portable meth lab. WCTI 12 reported police arrived at the West Parke Inn and arrested a woman who was trying to clear the bathroom of a portable lab for cooking meth. The woman's husband has also been arrested in connection with this crime.
Yesterday the Dyersburg State Gazette reported Dyer County Sheriff's arrested a suspect in Evansville, Tenn., after checking out an anonymous tip that the man was cooking meth, narcotics officers discovered a "working meth lab" inside his coat. In that incident, the 21-year-old suspect was charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture. The lab was described as being "in the form of a plastic bottle with a chemical reaction taking place inside it." Deputies searched the vicinity and found an old tire containing items used in meth production.
Many of the meth makers are either addicted themselves or look to lure young people such as one West Virginia man who was arrested yesterday after distributing meth for the past 10 years to young people.
"A growing epidemic is what it is, it's sickening and disheartening," Hash told WSAZ.com, "especially when you have 18-year-old females, 19 year-old, 20 ... they have such a prominent future, and it's wasted away because of the meth."
Not only are portable meth labs illegal, they are dangerous in more ways than one. Last week a Fla. Man died after a mobile meth lab exploded while he and another were making meth in the car.
In December, Digital Journal reported a couple of prominent stories that were meth related. Customs agents had used x-rays to find meth hidden in cheese sauce cans after an individual tried to smuggle meth into the U.S. when driving across the border. Additionally, an Oklahoma woman made national headlines after she was arrested by police for cooking meth in a Walmart.
It is common to read about meth arrests daily in some shape or form, but mobile meth labs have increasingly been making headlines.
According to CrystalMethAddiction.org, after a successful shutdown in the 1970s, meth saw a rebirth in the early 1990s and "today is one of the most commonly abused illegal substances." The website states in 2005, the National survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released Crystal Meth statistics and the survey showed 10.4 million people 12 years old and over have used the drug at least once in their lifetime.