Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- There’s been a huge uptick in meth labs in Central New York. State Police say they’ve responded to 127 this year across the state – more than half of them were here in Central New York.
“It’s ironic how we find a lot of the labs in the areas where they have received a lot of the training. So that’s a really good proactive step to help the community,” said State Police Sgt. Doug Wildermuth.
The increase in drug raids may be because police are getting so good at spotting them, but it’s also easier than ever to make meth. Household items, like batteries, cold medicine and ice packs are used to cook the drug. And now, new methods speed up the process.
“They can gather all these ingredients, throw them in a car and go anywhere. They don’t need a house or a shed,” said State Police Lieutenant Mary Clark.
State Police say meth busts and raids are labor intensive and expensive, and it's taking an even bigger toll since the number of meth labs in Central New York has doubled in the past year.
“We have to hire out Hazmat haulers to get rid of this material. It’s nothing we can throw in the garbage. It could cost $2,000 to $5,000, now we’re talking 127 times,” said State Police Captain Eric Underhill.
Police say to get ahead of the problem, we should all know what to look for.
“Solvents have an odor in and of itself, acetone, paint thinner, camping fuel, copious amounts of that is definitely a warning sign, but having all these items together, that’s the real big red flag,” Sgt. Wildermuth explained.
State Police say, typically, meth is made for personal use and not to be sold. Investigators say they are making a dent in the meth production problem.