In the wake of year-end reports that law enforcement seized nearly 1,400 meth labs in 2010, Senate legislators vote 46-3 Tuesday in support of a bill co-authored by Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) providing a new weapon in the fight against the narcotic.
Senate Bill 503 works to curb the manufacturing of methamphetamines by tracking the statewide sales of cold and allergy medications containing precursors to the illegal drug and preventing purchases exceeding certain limits.
When transactions exceed 3.6 grams in one day or 9 grams in a 3-day period, a message is instantly sent to retailers through a real time logging system, called the National Precursor Log Exchange, which will recommend denial of sales to the consumer. Retailers in Indiana would then block the sales of pseudo-ephedrine products to meth cooks.
A report sent out by the Indiana State Police indicated that they investigated approximately 30 meth labs in Starke County.
“It is an ongoing problem,” said Kenny Pfost, Chief Detective with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department. “A lot of people think that it’s not a problem like it used to be but it’s still very active in Starke County. We’ve had several arrests made involving methamphetamine. However, the statistics that the State Police have doesn’t necessarily involve active meth labs. It could be trash labs that are found alongside the road, anything that they have to clean up.”
If you suspect drug activity in the area, call your local law enforcement agency.