Texas County Sheriff's Department officers stand behind a table topped with items used at a meth lab found at a Licking residence in 2011. (File photo)

The number of methamphetamine lab reports increased in 2011, eclipsing a record set the previous year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Friday.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that across Missouri methamphetamine laboratory incident seizures totaled 2,096 during 2011, an increase of more than 6 percent from 2010.

Texas County officers wrote reports concerning 39 drug-related incidents during 2011, about half of which were related to methamphetamine. Deputies said much of the crime in the county can related to drugs, particularly meth.

Missouri saw a drop in the number of meth lab seizures in 2006, after anti-meth lab legislation was enacted. However, from 2007 to 2011, the number of meth lab incidents in Missouri has increased steadily. This rise can be attributed in part to meth manufacturers circumventing laws that restrict the legal limit purchase of pseudoephedrine, the patrols aid. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient used to make meth. It is also the only ingredient that cannot be substituted in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine laboratory incident seizures are classified into three categories: operational/nonoperational labs, chemical/glassware/equipment seizures and lab dump sites. Law enforcement agencies in the state are required to report the seizure of methamphetamine laboratories to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which then enters Missouri’s seizures into the National Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System, which is maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration at the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) in El Paso, Texas.

Missouri also continues to provide training to certify law enforcement officers to safely respond, investigate, and clean up meth labs. The 40-hour certification course, entitled “Hazardous Waste & Emergency Response for Meth Labs”, is cosponsored by the patrol and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Since the inception of this training, 37 classes have been sponsored and more than 1,000 persons have been certified.



Year – Statewide lab seizures

2007 – 1,285

2008 – 1,487

2009 – 1,774

2010 – 1,960

2011 – 2,096

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