Number of Meth Labs Decreasing in North Carolina
New numbers from the SBI show a significant drop in illegal meth labs. But some areas, like Johnston County, are still fighting an uphill battle on stopping the drug from being manufactured.Posted — Updated
“We've seen a significant drop, and it's good for the safety of the people of the state,” State Attorney General Roy Cooper said.
The attorney general credits changes in state law, like moving medicines with pseudoephedrine behind the counter.
"Making it harder for the criminal to get the necessary key ingredient to make meth has been the main factor in the reduction of meth labs,” he said.
Statewide, the number of meth labs was cut in half from 2005 to 2007, but three of the four counties with the most meth labs are in the Triangle area.
Bizzell points to ongoing campaigns like "Operation Pill Crusher." It has results in 72 arrest warrants and shut down three labs since October. He said deputies are also seeing more meth on the streets, coming in from other countries.
“The illegal immigration is tied directly to the meth,” Bizzell said. “Meth has followed the moonshine route, Interstate 40 and Interstate 95."
“We cannot rest on our laurels, because there is still a lot of work to do,” Cooper said.
The law passed in 2005 also required mandatory prison time for those convicted of manufacturing meth.
Johnston County authorities said they have staggered some recent arrests to keep from overloading their jail.