War on Meth Changing and Crossing State Lines


By Stephanie Tyrpak

CARTERVILLE - The war on meth is changing, and once again Southern Illinois is on the front lines.

"Because meth is such an addictive drug, we have individuals that are willing to do anything essentially in order to manufacture and then ultimately use meth," said Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Restrictions on key ingredients changed the game of meth production. A year after the state limited sales of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine in 2006, meth lab reports dropped by 52% in Illinois.

"We have made significant progress, and the numbers bare that out," said Madigan.

Meth producers are shrinking, moving their operations, and crossing state lines. Attorney General Lisa Madigan met with local law enforcement Friday at John A. Logan College in Carterville to talk about reversing the latest trend.

"You can make meth using one box of pills," said Madigan. "That is under the legal limit of what you're able to purchase each month."

Southern Illinois serves as an easy access corridor for producers traveling from counties in Missouri with strict regulations.

Some local retailers are voluntarily choosing not to sell pseudophedrine to out-of-state customers. Still, it's a growing problem for border regions, like Union County.

"39% of our blocked pseudophedrine purchases have been from Missouri, which is an extremely high amount, given we're about 25 miles from the state line," said Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds.

Budget cuts statewide have made enforcement tougher, but police aren't letting up. Law agencies are working together to face these mobile producers and their "shake and bake" labs.

"We just do the best we can with the resources that we have," said Edmonds.
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