Meth labs on the rise in SWLA

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Methamphetamine use is on the rise in Southwest Louisiana.

Billy Chapman, director of the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force (C.A.T.), said so far this year authorities have busted 14 meth labs. In 2010, they busted only a handful. In 2009, they busted 21, the current record for Calcasieu Parish.

In 2008, there were no meth labs reported.

"We're going to have a bad year with meth labs," said Chapman. "We're finding them in vehicles. We're finding them in woods, behind people's houses. We're finding them everywhere."

Chapman said while offenders come from all backgrounds, the majority of those arrested have been lower to middle income Caucasians.

Most labs were discovered thanks to tips from the public.

"Whenever [meth] is processing, it omits an aroma similar to that of maybe a rotten egg smell," said Chapman.

Chapman said anyone who wants to report suspicious drug activity should call C.A.T. at 491-1511.

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