Trends associated with meth labs in SWLA

By Jason Belk - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Methamphetamine is a drug that continues to gain popularity because of the ability for users to make it in their homes with over the counter ingredients.

Recently in Southwest Louisiana these meth labs have been moving from homes to hotels.

"A lot of the people who are cooking this stuff up are prior felons, have felony convictions, and they're paranoid. They think that law enforcement is watching their houses, watching their relatives houses, that sort of thing, so they choose to go to places like these motels, so they can cook their product," said Billy Chapman, the Director of the Combined Anti-Drug Task force in Southwest Louisiana

Chapman also says these people making meth have shown disregard for anyone but themselves.

"They're only regard is making as much product as they can, so they can consume it or sell it. They have zero regard to the people around them," said Chapman.

Nearly every meth lab bust that has occurred here in Southwest Louisiana has come from a tip the team has received, and they want to stress if you see something suspicious, do not let it go unreported.

"Ninety percent of the meth labs we take down in Calcasieu Parish are the result of folks calling in anonymous tips and reporting them. Strange smells coming from these residences or hotel rooms, strange behaviors with individuals coming in and out of these hotels or residences," said Chapman.

In 2009 C.A.T. busted 13 meth labs, and so far in 2010 they have discovered 6.

Chapman thinks by working hand in hand with the community, they can continue to capture these people making meth.

"People are tired of hearing about it, people know what kind of dangerous situation it can be when you're cooking this stuff up, and they're calling. That's what they need to continue to do," said Chapman.

With help from the community, law enforcement will continue to fight back against methamphetamine in Southwest Louisiana.

To report any suspicious drug activity, you can call C.A.T. at 491-1511.

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