State and county investigators busted a drug operation in Haskell County that spanned two states. It's the third meth lab found in that area in as many days.
Haskell County Sheriffâ€™s deputies arrested 4 people and seized more than $200,000 in meth products in Kinta. News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says Haskell County Sheriff deputies secured a house in Kinta Sunday night after a tip lead them to a big meth operation.
â€œItâ€™s been operating in the state of Oklahoma and in the state of Arkansas involved people from both sates, under investigation for several months." State narcotics agent Steve Fioretta took the News on 6 inside the house where products and tools to make meth could be found in every room.
Fioretti says they took pictures and collected enough chemicals and tools to produce at least $200,000 in drugs. â€œDuring the interview the suspect advised us that there was at least a quarter to a half pint-to produce a pound or two pounds or more."
Deputies arrested 49 year old Jerry Criner and 22 year old Gina Boyd, who were arrested together in January for manufacturing meth. 32 year old Roger Hall and 18 year old Lyndon Ford were also taken into custody. Narcotics agents say they knew they were approaching a working meth lab when they smelled the fumes a quarter of a mile down the road.
It vapors like this make the job of busting labs dangerous. "It's a muric acid with rock salt which creates hydrogen gas the same thing we use in the gas chamber to kill people."
Fioretti says the laws on purchasing pseudoephedrine have become so strict in Oklahoma that meth makers are crossing state lines to buy the drug only to come back to the Sooner state to cook it. But authorities say the number of arrests have dropped considerably in Haskell County, from 138 arrests in 2002 to a little over 40 already this year.
Haskell County Sheriff Manual Ballard says this sends a clear message that, "Haskell is off limits to drug dealers and manufacturers."