Hopkins County-Sulphur Springs Special Crimes Unit, in conjunction with Hunt County narcotics officers and special response team, shut down a methamphetamine lab in Campbell Monday night. Two residents and another man were taken into custody after the officers found all of the precursors necessary for “cooking” meth on the County Road 4215 property, SCU officers said Tuesday morning. The Campbell resident, 34, and his wife were both said to have been charged in Hunt County with possession of a chemical with intent to manufacture methamephetamine in a drug free zone, possession of methamphetamine in a drug free zone and possession of anhydrous ammonia (an industrial coolant used for refrigeration systems) in an unproved container in a drug free zone and child endangerment. The other man also faces charges, according to SCU officers.
“The lab was not active at the time, but we’d received information it was to be. All of the ingredients were set up. Our information we’d received on it were that it was in a barn at the location. We caught them at the start of the start,” SCU Lt. Ron Plaxco said Tuesday morning. “It went extremely smoothly, with no incidents. The lab was in the process of being set up to manufacture meth. We had received information they’d conducted cooks on other occasions, so we feel this is not the first time processing took place at the location, based on our information. From our investigation, it appears the product was destined to come into Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs.”
Acting on information collected by both agencies of an alleged lab at the location, a search warrant was obtained for the Campbell location. Upon arrival, officers found “all the chemicals” and precursors needed to manufacturemethamphetamine including anhydrous ammonia in an unapproved container. Both residents and another man were taken into custody around 7 p.m. Monday.
SCU officers anticipate officials will continue to receive information of more labs in the area, a reflection of a current trend across the state of increasingly more labs which began last year, officers said.
“We began to see more last year. We saw six labs last year. The year before there were none. When I was part of the narcotics task for a few years back, we saw 55 labs over a 15 month period. It had dropped off. We saw more being brought in from Mexico. With the border security and patrol tightening, the value of it from Mexico is going up. .... I think we’ll see increasingly more labs in 2009,” Plaxco said.
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