© Jack Gruber/USA TODAY staff

Meth labs are down in Jefferson County, but not the amount of meth itself

Sgt. Tony Dennis says much of today's meth comes from Mexico.

February 27, 2019 - 9:44 am

HILLSBORO, Mo. (KMOX) — Think the scourge of methamphetamine has passed? Police say no, but something has changed.

That something is how it's manufactured.

Sgt. Tony Dennis with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department says several years ago, making meth was a "mom and pop" cooking operation.

"Around 2012, 2013, we were receiving 250 to 300 meth labs a year, give or take," Dennis told KMOX's Maria Keena. "In 2018, we saw 16 meth labs (total)."

But while the number of labs is dropping, the amount of meth in Jefferson County isn't.

"There's an overabundance of Mexican meth coming up from the south that's so cheap, it's not worth it to cook anymore," Dennis noted. "The market is essentially saturated with the product and there's still plenty of demand."

Dennis says much of the meth that comes in from Mexico remains in liquid form and crosses the border in tankers. Then, there's a conversion lab in the United States somewhere that does the final process of converting the liquid meth into something solid and sellable.

He tells us the result of this process is users are taking more meth, and becoming addicted even quicker.