Investigators said they believe the meth lab busted Wednesday was one of the largest methamphetamine producers they've encountered.
Within two hours of receiving a Crimestoppers tip, the East Mississippi Drug Task Force busted three different meth labs and arrested four people. John Steed, Lisa Fox, Shannon Moore, and Renee Quinn were taken in on a variety of drug related charges, including possession of precursors with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetimines. A fifth suspect is being sought.
"The great part about (this) effort from the Crimestoppers tip, the information that we received, was the fact that we got the product and we got the process before any of the end product hit the streets," said task force agent, Warren Cox.
Cox said the arrests are part of a two and a half month investigation by the drug task force. Authorities called it a major bust, but added, it would not have happened so quickly, without the help of the community.
Cox said a meth lab gives off the smell of ammonia or ether, or any kind of strong sweet smell.
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Fast Facts About Meth
- Methamphetamine use among high school seniors more than doubled between 1990 and 1996.
- Women are more likely to use meth than cocaine.
- The average meth "cook" annually teaches ten others how to make meth.
- Every pound of meth produced leaves behind five to six pounds of toxic waste.
- Seizures of clandestine meth labs in the Midwest increased tenfold from 1995 to 1997.
- Methamphetamine accounts for up to 90 percent of all drug cases in many Midwest communities.
- Methamphetamine kills by causing heart failure, brain damage and stroke.
- Methamphetamine-induced paranoia has led to numerous murders and suicides.
- Methamphetamine produces hallucinations.
- Meth users are the hardest to treat of all drug users.
- Meth lab site cleanups can cost up to $150,000.
- Methamphetamine is highly addictive.
- Meth use increases risk of child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.
Many people may be unaware that they're living near a meth lab. Here are some things to look for:
- Unusual, strong odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).
- Residences with windows blacked out.
- Renters who pay their landlords in cash. (Most drug dealers trade exclusively in cash.)
- Lots of traffic - people coming and going at unusual times.
- There may be little traffic during the day, but at night the activity increases dramatically.
- Excessive trash including large amounts of items such as: antifreeze containers, lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape.
- Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home.
Source: www.kci.org [Koch Crime Institute]