Meth

Hannah Westerman St. Louis Public Radio

Nearly 200 pounds of narcotics are off the streets of St. Louis today.

The St. Louis division of the Drug Enforcement Administration has announced the results of a year and a half long operation that resulted in 36 arrests and the seizure of 190 pounds of methamphetamine as well as heroin, weapons and cash totaling more than $1 million.

The methamphetamine alone carries a street value of more than $3 million.

(Missouri State Highway Patrol website)

Updated 1:51 p.m. 

It's no secret that Missouri has problems with methamphetamine. However, the problems are hardly spread equally across the state.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has compiled a map showing the number of reported meth incidents in each Missouri county through June 2013. (You can also see what they mean by "incidents," exactly).

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Not many of us are chemists.

Yet by removing one oxygen atom average people here in Missouri regularly are turning common decongestants like Sudafed and Claritin-D into the illicit drug methamphetamine.

Nationwide those explosive mom and pop meth labs were estimated by a Rand study to cost taxpayers more than $23 billion a year in health care costs, child endangerment and clean-up.

Authorities in western Illinois say a drug bust at a Quincy home turned up more than 500 containers used to make methamphetamine.

Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Patrick Frazier on Monday told The Quincy Herald-Whig that it's the biggest bust he's seen involving such "one-pot" shake-and-bake labs. Officers also found more than 180 cans of starter fluid, cans of drain cleaner and used boxes of pills that contain a key meth-making ingredient.

A special truck had to be called to handle the meth waste. The building has been quarantined.

(via Flickr/ tsbxbby)

A St. Louis County town has passed a law aimed at assuring those who buy or rent a home that it is methamphetamine-free.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Crestwood recently passed a law requiring the owner of any structure that housed a meth lab to thoroughly clean it before it can be sold or rented.

Pollution from a meth lab is sometimes so bad that a home has to be demolished. Experts say the chemicals from the drug get into the air and settle on curtains, the floor and furniture. Breathing those chemicals can cause illness.

(via Flickr/ellie)

A south St. Louis alderwoman says she wants her legislation that would require a prescription for the common decongestant pseudoephedrine to start a conversation about combating the methamphetamine problem in Missouri.

A St. Charles County deputy faces sentencing in October after being found guilty of several crimes while on a methamphetamine raid.

Christopher Hunt was charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor counts of assault and property damage. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a jury delivered the guilty verdict on Wednesday.

Hunt was among St. Charles County officers responding to a meth lab in neighboring Montgomery County in 2009.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Review your route: I-64 work has begun

Several ramps on the stretch of I-64 that runs through downtown closed for roadwork this morning.

The ramps from 10th Street and 14th Street will be closed around the clock, as will the ramp from Broadway.

Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman Andrew Gates says there will also be ramp closures for motorists heading into downtown.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Judge rules that the CVC must release more Dome documents

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is being ordered to release more documents related to the renovation of the Edward Jones Dome.

(via Flickr/tsbxbby)

Yesterday, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit and the Kirkwood and Pacific City Police Departments busted a large methamphetamine manufacturing network believed to have operated from 2009 to 2011. Twenty-one individuals from Franklin and Jefferson counties suspected to be involved in the network were arrested. (The full list of those arrested is below).

(via Flickr/ellie)

Some are calling it a "game-changer" in the battle against methamphetamine labs - a new form of pseudoephedrine that apparently can't be used to make the dangerous and addictive drug.

The formulation known as Tarex, was developed by Highland Pharmaceuticals, a suburban St. Louis company that hopes to have it on the market by summer under the brand name Releva.

Some narcotics officers believe Tarex holds promise in finally turning the tide against meth labs.

Commission approves Pevely demolition

St. Louis University has received approval from the city Planning Commission to demolish the historic Pevely Dairy Complex. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the commission approved the demolition Wednesday night.

The city Preservation Board originally denied the demolition request, prompting the appeal to the commission.

(via Flickr/tsbxbby)

Updated 2:14 p.m. with a correction issued by the Associated Press. Corrects Missouri figure to "just more than 2,000," not "nearly 3,000."

An Associated Press survey of the nation's top methamphetamine-producing states shows national lab seizures rose again last year - and Missouri is, again, at the top of the list.

The survey confirmed that Missouri regained the top spot for lab seizures in 2011 with just more than 2,000 busts. It also found that Tennessee came in second with almost 1,700, followed by Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

Dennis Potter says he started doing meth when he was 16. Two years later, he learned how to make it.

"It's so easy," he says. "Any person can do it. You can go to Walgreens, Home Depot and Wal-Mart, and they sell every bit of the ingredients."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed legislation on Thursday which aims to help law enforcement officials stop meth production. The bill will make a pilot program permanent that was created to electronically track pseudoephedrine purchases that could be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

The Methamphetamine Precursor Tracking Act went into effect in 2009. The act required pharmacies to track purchases of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine online through the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). 

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon expands special session

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has expanded a special legislative session to include disaster aid for businesses and the repeal of a law limiting teacher-student interaction over the Internet. Nixon widened the agenda shortly after lawmakers convened in special session Tuesday to consider overhauling Missouri's business incentives.

(via Flickr/ellie)

An increasing number of Missouri communities are fighting methamphetamine by requiring prescriptions to purchase cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine - a meth ingredient. But police believe the meth makers are simply going to neighboring towns and counties to get their pills.

Narcotics officers said Tuesday that pseudoephedrine sales are up sharply in some Missouri locations without prescription laws, including St. Louis city and county.

(Elena Schneider/Medill News Service)

Durbin opposes short-term extension of debt-ceiling

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Ill. has announced that he wants to extend the debt ceiling until after the 2012 election. He says Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to raise the ceiling as budget cuts are made would do nothing to help the economy, and won’t keep credit agencies from downgrading the nation’s debt. Rather, he says it would lead to higher interest rates.

 New conservative ad campaign targets Mo. Sen. McCaskill, among others

(via Flickr/ellie)

Residents in St. Charles County will soon need a prescription to purchase cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in methamphetamine. 

(via Flickr/tsbxbby)

Officials in four eastern Missouri counties are working together to try and pass ordinances in each of the counties requiring a prescription to purchase a key ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that leaders of St. Charles, Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin counties have agreed to seek passage of countywide ordinances that would cover both unincorporated areas and municipalities.

Flickr

An industry group representing manufacturers of over-the-counter drugs has begun running radio ads against a Missouri proposal requiring a doctor's prescription to buy certain cold medicines.

The legislation is aimed at medications containing pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient for methamphetamine. Supporters hope to cut down on Missouri's meth production by making it harder for people to get ahold of pseudoephedrine.

(via Flickr/ tsbxbby)

Updated at 1:06 p.m. March 1, 2011 with information that Tenn. has overtaken Mo.

Data from state officials shows Tennessee has knocked Missouri out of the lead for meth lab busts and seizures for the first time since 2003.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the state had 1,960 meth lab incidents in 2010. That's a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Looking for some relief from that nagging winter bug? Want to buy some cold medicine to do the trick?

Not so fast.