23 Meth Labs Found In SEI In 2011

Posted On February 08, 2012

(Versailles, Ind.) – Methamphetamine is still an all too common problem in southeast Indiana, and across the state.


The Indiana State Police say there were a total of 20 meth labs in Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio, Ripley, and Switzerland counties in 2011.


The most instances were in Ripley County with 12. Ohio County saw none.


Two labs were discovered in Dearborn County, five in Franklin County, and one in Switzerland County.


The number of labs busted in the region in 2011 was down by three from 2010, when 23 labs were taken out by Indiana State Police and other law enforcement agencies.


Statewide, meth labs have grown exponentially since the state police first began keeping track in 2006. There were 803 labs discovered and dismantled around the state that year, but in 2011 the number ballooned to 1,437 – 42 more than 2010.


In those 2011 instances there were 1,420 people arrested in connection with the labs.


The ease with which the illegal and highly addictive drug can be manufactured in any home, or even a vehicle, is a big reason for the persistent problem.


“The ‘One Pot Method’ has become one of the most popular methods of manufacturing,” said ISP Versailles Post Sgt. Noel Houze. “The ‘One Pot’ cook process involves combining all necessary ingredients/chemicals into one reaction vessel, typically a 20 ounce drink bottle, 2 liter bottle or a glass bottle/jar.  Most of the ingredients are incompatible and very volatile and can easily cause flash fires or explosions.  This process typically yields a small amount methamphetamine.”


Houze said most of the labs are discovered after tips from neighbors or friends.


There are distinctive signs that somebody may be cooking meth in an area. The labs usually produce a strong ammonia smell, a solvent smell like an auto body shop, or a scent similar to cat urine.


Items commonly associated with a meth lab are air line type rubber tubing, ether or camp fuel cans, plastic bottles, Pseudoephedrine (cold medicine) packages, lithium battery casings, and propane tanks with a blue or green discoloration around the valve. 


Anyone with information about illegal drug use may call the Versailles Post at (812) 689-5000 or (800) 566-6704 (within Indiana only) or the Indiana State Police Drug Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756. 


Tips can also be made online through the Indiana Meth Investigation System or IMIS by simply going to www.meth.in.gov.