Statewide Missouri Meth Lab Seizure Spiked Again In 2010; Increase Is 53 Percent Since 2007

MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL
A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Division of Drug and Crime Control - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102

NEWS RELEASE

For further information please contact: Captain J. T. "Tim" Hull
Q22311-2 (573) 526-6115

February 25, 2011
EMPHASIS: Statewide Missouri Meth Lab Seizure Spiked Again In 2010; Increase Is 53 Percent Since 2007

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that across Missouri methamphetamine laboratory incident seizures totaled 1,960 during 2010, a 10 percent increase from 2009, and a 53 percent increase from 2007, when 1,285 methamphetamine laboratory incident seizures occurred in the state.

“Once again, Missouri has the unfortunate distinction of being the leader in meth lab seizures, despite the hard work of the state’s drug task forces and all law enforcement,” said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Meth is a deadly drug, with dangerous consequences for all Missouri communities, including increasing other criminal activity, and endangering the children who grow up in residences where meth is produced and used.”

Missouri saw a drop in the number of meth lab seizures in 2006, after anti-meth lab legislation was enacted. However, from 2007 to 2010, the number of meth lab incidents in Missouri has steadily increased. This rise can be attributed to meth manufacturers circumventing laws that restrict the legal limit purchase of pseudoephedrine.
Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient used to make meth. It is also the only ingredient that cannot be substituted in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Missouri Methamphetamine Laboratory Incident Seizures 2007-2010
Year Statewide lab seizures Increase From Previous Year
2007 1,285
2008 1,487 16%
2009 1,774 19%
2010 1,960 10%

Methamphetamine laboratory incident seizures are classified into three categories: operational/nonoperational labs, chemical/glassware/equipment seizures, and lab dump sites. All law enforcement agencies in the state are required to report the seizure of methamphetamine laboratories to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Patrol then enters Missouri’s seizures into the National Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System, which is maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) in El Paso, Texas.

According to the El Paso Intelligence Center, the top five states for meth lab incident seizures in 2010 were:

Missouri -- 1,960 incidents
Tennessee -- 1,197 incidents
Kentucky -- 1,045 incidents
Mississippi -- 715 incidents
Michigan -- 672 incidents

Missouri also continues to provide training to certify law enforcement officers to safely respond, investigate, and clean up meth labs. The 40-hour certification course, entitled “Hazardous Waste & Emergency Response for Meth Labs”, is cosponsored by the Patrol and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Since the inception of this training, 21 classes have been sponsored and over 500 officers have been certified.


(###)