Tri-State area concerned with portable meth lab leftover items - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Tri-State area concerned with portable meth lab leftover items

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RALLS CO, Mo. (WGEM) -

You hear about meth labs inside houses, but rarely do you think they could be on the side of the road. As Spring comes around, more people will be outside increasing the chance they can find one. 

There are many people who have adopted a highway and pick up trash along the side of the road, but they need to be cautious now more than ever.  Ralls County Sheriff Gerry Dinwiddie said he's seen about a 50% increase in the amount of portable meth labs found on the side of the road.   

Linda Clark adopted a section of highway in Ralls County where she picks up trash, and while she hasn't come across remnants of a meth lab, it's something she's now concerned about.

"I was kind of surprised by that. I hadn't been aware. No one had told me that. But I assume that more people are finding drug paraphernalia so they're more aware," she said.  

But this isn't just an issue in Ralls County, it's a growing problem all over the Tri-States.  While Master Sergeant Pat Frazier with the West Central Illinois Drug Task Force said he hasn't seen an increase, he expects more people to find meth waste during the Spring and Summer and asks everyone to take extreme precaution. 

"Some of the acids involved in this can burn your skin. The flammability is an issue with chemicals that could be a round a source of ignition like a flame or cigarette," Frazier said. 

Frazier said you don't have to be a drug expert to pick out a portable meth lab.

"There's things you can look for that just aren't ordinary. The bottles have tubes coming out of the caps, something that you don't normally see, I wouldn't mess with it," he said.  

Clark admits she doesn't know what a meth waste bottle looks like, but she'll be on guard when picking up trash along the highway.

"I really wouldn't, but I do think I would know if something looked really different," she said. 

Frazier wants to stress it can be found in many other places than the side of a highway like a park or in a back alley.  He also said he's seen meth waste found in plastic sacks, gym bags, and gasoline cans. 

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