GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. -- Friday’s meth bust east of Denison makes six in the last 90 days in Grayson County. With a decrease in the number of trained narcotics officers, keeping up is harder than anticipated.
Nine labs in all have been shut down in two counties over a three-month time span. We spoke to one local narcotics investigator on Friday. His identity will not be revealed due to his undercover work, but he says staying trained and getting more officers involved will be vital in law enforcements fight to rid communities of drug labs.
While meth labs may look like normal houses, inside they are anything but. Recently several houses across North Texas have been turned into small, but effective one-to-two gram meth labs.
"It’s has raised the level of awareness for us here in Grayson County," says Sgt. Rickey Wheeler of the Grayson County Sheriff's Office.
Narcotics investigators in Grayson County have busted two separate labs over the past 48 hours alone, but Wheeler says there are many more out there with many different people involved.
"It appears that several individuals go out for them and purchase the pseudoephedrin, the cold tablets, and in return they might get something out of the product once it’s finished," Wheeler says.
Since legislators have passed tighter laws restricting the sale of pseudo-ephedrine, labs have decreased in size but haven't stopped production.
That's keeping law enforcement personnel busy with a task that is neither easy nor cheap.
"It’s a must-do to do this type work; probably some of the most dangerous jobs in law enforcement are disassembling meth labs."
KXII-TV sat down with a narcotics investigator in North Texas who just recently completed three levels of training. He says the specialized training helps him and other officers deal with the dangers that come with dismantling meth labs which include not only the suspects themselves but all the hazardous chemicals used to make the drugs.
"We have to wear protective clothing. We have to wear double chemical gloves and protective suits, chemical boots and special chemical vests, and the self-contained breathing apparatuses are hard to maneuver in."
After the training, officers are given special equipment used to clean up the labs, which is important for narcotics units because the effects of chemicals could have a potentially deadly effect on those who are trying to keep the drugs off the streets.
"I remember going into these labs when we didn’t have the proper equipment, and we did quite a few labs through the 90's and 2000's here in Fannin County, so you just have to protect yourself the best you can, and you just have to keep moving forward because someone has got to do the work."
Authorities say they rely on the help of residents to break up these labs, and they urge anyone who sees suspicious activity, especially late at night, to immediately alert authorities.