Next Door Tulsa Meth Labs Net 8 Arrests

Tuesday, April 14th 2009, 1:58 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa County Sheriff's Office deputies made a major meth bust Tuesday in midtown Tulsa. The Tulsa County Drug Task Force arrested eight people for making meth at the Melrose Apartments, in the 6300 block of East 9th Street.

Deputies say they discovered two working meth labs in neighboring apartments.

Seven men and one woman were arrested for making meth.

They are the 32nd and 33rd meth labs that the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has busted this year. 97% of the meth labs have been the shake and bake method.

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The Tulsa Police Department has also uncovered more than 70 labs this year.

Members of the Tulsa County Drug Task Force say the old way of making meth is basically extinct.

Sheriff's deputies say the eight people are responsible for an elaborate meth lab, spanning two apartments and using high-tech surveillance equipment to keep an eye out for cops.

"It just blew my mind. I came out my door and see this going on and I never dreamed this could happen here, you know, and for this to happen here," said James McFarlen, neighbor.

Of the eight people arrested, six are 24-years-old or younger. Members of the Tulsa County Drug Task Force say they are shocked, even saddened, by that statistic. They say making meth is a whole new ballgame this year.

"We talk to people after they've been arrested and stuff and people now just don't know how to do the old process. But the shake and bake is so easy. I could teach you in about 30 minutes, so it's that easy to teach," said Sgt Bob Darby, Tulsa County Drug Task Force,

Neighbors say seeing cops making arrests left and right was beyond belief.

"Shocking? Yeah. I'm just right next door to them. I just don't know what would happen if their **** blew up, you know? I don't know. I would lose my life or if I had my brother and sister over, they could lose their life over somebody else's stupidity," said John MacGovern, who lives next door to where the meth lab was.

John MacGovern says he had no idea what was going on. With shake and bake, police say, there's often no smell.

"I don't even think I'm going to be here that long either, since now that happened," said MacGovern.

Neighbors say they're glad the labs were discovered, especially because of the risk of intense fires as a result of shake and bake.

"I feel a lot safer now, that's for sure. Knowing that hey, we're not going to blow up or wake up to an apartment inferno," said McFarlen.

Of the eight people arrested, three of them who are in their early 20s have prior convictions for drug charges.