Meth lab busts spike across East Tennessee

Meth lab busts spike across East Tennessee

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An undercover sheriff's investigator says the drug sells for around $100 a gram, and he's seen his fair share of it. An undercover sheriff's investigator says the drug sells for around $100 a gram, and he's seen his fair share of it.
Sudafed is one of the main meth-making ingredients authorities monitor closely. Sudafed is one of the main meth-making ingredients authorities monitor closely.

By ANN KEIL
6 News Reporter

CLINTON (WATE) - Communities across East Tennessee are seeing an increase in meth lab busts.

The Tennessee Meth Lab Task Force attributes that increase to better intelligence and a more vigilant public.

The Anderson County Sheriff's Office has responded to several meth lab busts and two meth dump sites this week.

"There's rarely a day that goes by or a week that we're not at a meth lab or dump site," said Anderson County Sheriff Paul White.

The sheriff says it's battle they fight every day, but, they have better intelligence about it now.

An undercover sheriff's investigator says the drug sells for around $100 a gram, and he's seen his fair share of it.

The meth lab bust rate has increased by more than 50 percent statewide, and Anderson County tops that list with 52 busts.

Also on the list is McMinn County with 94 busts, Monroe County with 76 busts, Shelby County with 62 busts and Hamilton County with 54 busts.

Sudafed is one of the main meth-making ingredients authorities monitor closely.

The other chemicals used are highly flammable and they can be toxic, but Sheriff White says a user's addiction typically overcomes his or her fears.

"I think meth is going to be a growing problem until something else takes over, and Lord knows what that will be," Sheriff White said. 

Until then, meth busts will remain a priority in some counties more than others.

If the upward trend continues, officials with the Tennessee Meth Task Force say law enforcement will bust more than 1,980 labs across the state this year.

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