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Seven Meth Labs Uncovered In SF This Year



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So far this year, police have uncovered triple the number of meth labs from last year. It may seem like a drastic increase, but police say it may not mean anything at all.

Officer Sam Clemens says, "We see more marijauana. Meth would probably be number two in our area. It's been that way for quite a few years."

Not only is methamphetamine a common drug used in our area, but lately, police have been uncovering quite a few meth labs in Sioux Falls. In February alone, police uncovered what appeared to be the makings of five different labs. On Feb. 6, a lab was found in a Sioux Falls home. The next day, an employee discovered components of a lab in a trash bag next to their business.

Clemens says, "One of them there was a guy that saw a pop bottle and there was a straw coming out of it or a tube coming out of it and after hearing media reports and recognized that was probably involved in manufacturing meth."

That led police to a home where they found even more components of a lab. Another was uncovered on Feb. 17. Someone was walking their dog at Family Park when they noticed the remnants of another lab. All were makings of what police call the 'one-pot' method.
     
"Sometimes they're found during investigations, sometimes it's a dump site but that's probably the new ways we're starting to see an increase in the total number of meth labs," says Clemens.

Police say, so far this year they've uncovered seven labs. Last year, at this time, they uncovered two.

Clemens says, "It's really going to come in peaks and valleys, so for whatever reason, we'll see a whole bunch at one short period of time maybe over a couple of months, other times we won't see anything."

But police say that doesn't mean we will be seeing more labs. In fact, they don't think they'll be seeing a huge increase or decrease at the end of the year. They say they'll most likely see around 30, the number they uncovered last year.

"Looking at our specific numbers, it can be a little misleading because just because we arrest a lot of people doesn't mean that there's more meth, it just means those are the people that got caught," says Clemens.

They were caught, thanks in large part, to tips from the public.

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