Vanderburgh Co. no longer #1 in meth, but numbers still on the r - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Vanderburgh Co. no longer #1 in meth, but numbers still on the rise

Meth lab busts in Indiana are up, and in our counties, they seem to be holding steady compared to last year.

Indiana State Police now say the Electronic Tracking Log for the sale of pseudoephedrine isn't working.

"No longer are we finding these elaborate setups in old barns and farm houses," said Posey Co. Sheriff Greg Oeth.

Oeth says the meth situation is turning urban. Labs are being found in crowded neighborhoods, like Friday in a mobile home park in Mt. Vernon.

833 labs were found in the state last year. This year, there's already been 938. The numbers in the Evansville region are holding steady.

State Police say these totals only show cases they worked. These numbers will likely go up once local police departments report their stats.

Niki Crawford with the Indiana State Police says one thing is clear: the electronic pseudoephedrine tracking log for the sale of pseudoephedrine isn't stopping meth cooks.

"It looks like it's not doing much to prevent our meth labs," Crawford said.

Crawford says the users are using fake ID's, some pharmacies aren't double checking ID's, and cooks are getting creative.

"There's so many ways to get around the purchase to solidating a number of friends and you can still get the product," said Oeth.

Indiana State Police say with the number of people now buying the pseudoephedrine at pharmacies it's getting very hard to investigate.

Local authorities say the only thing that is going to truly stop meth is to put more restrictions on pseudoephedrine.

"If we put it back into a prescription that is going to have a tremendous impact on the manufacturing process," said Oeth.

If there is any good news, Vanderburgh County is not number one as of now. State police have worked the most labs in Madison County this year.

But officials say bust worked by just the Evansville Drug Task Force are not yet in these statistics and could push Vanderburgh County back up to number one.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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