MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- Meth makers are being rounded up and thrown in jail thanks to Operation Saddle Up, an ongoing police effort in West Central Illinois.
Yesterday eight people were arrested in simultaneous raids in Fulton county, breaking up a drug ring that was trafficking drugs into the Macomb area.
Much of the work to crack down on meth actually happens at a computer where police officers can track how often people are purchasing meth ingredients.
"The tracking system keeps track of all the psedoephedrine purchases," said Macomb Police Officer J.P. McLaughlin.
McLaughlin spends much of his day at a computer, monitoring cold medicine purchases for signs of meth making. It's police work like this that leads to numerous arrests.
"Since 2007 we're probably up to about 150, 175 or so arrests on that just based on the sudafed logs," said McLaughlin.
Another key factor in fighting meth is cooperation between police departments.
Officers from schyler, Fulton and McDonough counties got together today to celebrate the success of a drug raid yesterday, which led to eight arrests in the Astoria area.
"The teams went out together and we did simultaneous arrests of these individuals," said McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker.
Working together as part of operation Saddle Up has led to drug rings being dismantled and Sheriff VanBrooker said the raids are clearly working.
"We're getting information that they're avoiding us, they're staying away. That's what I want," said VanBrooker.
And McLaughlin said as long as meth is still made and sold in the area, he'll be here, flagging suspicious purchases and stopping meth from being made.
"I think the drug is so overwhelming they just don't care and it consumes them," said McLaughlin.
Operation Saddle Up has so far arrested 50 people between McDonough, Schuyler and Fulton counties. Those arrested can face both federal and local drug charges.
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