Pharmacy logs help law enforcement bust Meth lab - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Pharmacy logs help law enforcement bust Meth lab

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PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

You turn to your local pharmacy to get better, but meth makers go there for a key ingredient in their drug.  Pseudoephedrine is found in many cold medicines, but are laws to keep it out of the hands of meth makers working?

Inside every pharmacy is a database for those who are looking to buy medicine that contains pseudoephedrine.  Chances are you just need it to get over a cold, but there are people out there looking to buy up lots of it to make meth.  Pike county sheriff Paul petty said that's where pharmacy logs come in handy.

"Now that you have to give your name and ID and provide a lot more detail, that helped us," Petty said.  

If you've bought cold medicine recently, you know there are some hoops to jump through.  But that inconvenience is helping law enforcement track down those who are using pseudoephedrine to make meth.  State laws only allow Illinois residents to buy 7.5 grams of pseudoephedrine a month but in Missouri, it's 9 grams.  Some pharmacies, like Brown Drug in Quincy, set their own regulations.

"We only sell customers one package at a time. By law they may be able to buy more than that elsewhere.  We figure we like to see our customers so we're going to sell them one and they can come back when they need another one," said President Bill Cox.
 
The most recent meth bust in Pike County was on the 200 block of Tremont Street.  Sheriff Petty said pharmacy logs played a big role in finding this operation, but it's tips from residents that could lead to more arrests.
 
"They have the knowledge.  They may not know what the knowledge is necessarily or that two of two of those particles equals four. But when we learn two and we learn two from another person, we combine them," he said. 

Petty also said he's seeing a majority of meth makers only buying enough psuedoephedrine to cook for themselves instead of large quantities to sell.  He said that's makes it even more difficult to find, especially when checking logs.

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