Sequoyah County Sheriff working hard to keep meth out of his county

Wednesday, September 29th 2004, 10:52 am
By: News On 6

When authorities find a meth lab in a home or a car, it's pretty easy to figure out who's responsible. Not to mention, the property can be seized. But as News on 6 anchor Tami Marler explains, meth-makers are finding new ways to get around the law.

"You can see they don't need any sophisticated hardware." Everything you'd need to make methamphetamine, in a tidy little container. A box, ice-chest, or backpack. Sequoyah County Sheriff Johnny Philpot says this bag of toxic chemicals is a sign Sequoyah County's crackdown on drug makers is making a difference.

"Over the last several years we've taken pains to educate the public on what to look for and when they find it they call and we investigate." Drug makers now know, if they cook meth at home, their home and belongings can be seized. Same with their cars, boats or other property.

"They don't want us to find it on their property where we can tie it to them, so they'll bag up all their ingredients and they can take it and dump it." Try to think of a single child who would come upon a duffle bag and not be curious enough to open it up and look inside. The trouble is, authorities say if it's filled with meth ingredients, the results could be tragic.

"Kids will be kids. And you're talking about a box with a lot of interesting items in it.” A Sequoyah County undercover drug agent says meth-makers are taking their bags of tricks on the road, putting even more people at risk. “Acids are there, most of the time. If a kid spills it on them, by the time they get home it could be too late. Also, maybe just unzipping it could be a hazard to a child."

Nine states contribute to nearly half of the nation's meth problem, Oklahoma is one of them and rural areas like Sequoyah County are especially hard-hit. Philpot: "Unfortunately it has a lot of innocent victims."

Meth-makers gather up all of those chemicals and solvents, in order to "cook" oxygen out of a common over-the-counter cold medication. Without pseudoephedrine, drug experts say criminals can't make meth.