Sullivan County

Number of meth labs found in Tenn. jumps compared to 2012

Meth lab numbers rise

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - We've found out the number of meth lab finds is way up so far this year in Tennessee. It's on a pace that could give the state a ranking it doesn't want.

Meth is a serious drug causing serious problems, and not just for those who make it. We've found out the number of meth lab finds is way up so far this year, on a pace that could give Tennessee a ranking it doesn't want.

We checked with local law enforcement to find out why police are seeing a jump in the number of cases.

A front-yard scattered with all the materials to make meth. Law officers say its become an all too familiar sight. "Meth is a huge problem in Sullivan County, it's one of our biggest problems," said Leslie Earhart with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

Meth isn't just a problem in Sullivan County. In fact, Tennessee is on track to be our nation's leader when it comes to meth lab seizures according to the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force.

Statewide thousands of meth busts have been made in recent years. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says there have been more than 600 labs found so far this year, a 25 percent jump over the same time last year. "We're getting a lot better at finding meth labs and the public is getting better about letting us know if they suspect that there's activity that meth is being made next door," added Earhart.

So far this year, Sullivan County has discovered 16 meth labs. Over in Carter county, there have been 23 meth labs and in Washington County law officers have discovered 16 meth labs.

"I'm glad we've been able to identify and take down more labs, but we're seeing more labs which ultimately means there are more people invovled," said Gene Perrin, assistant District Attorney for Sullivan County.

We also checked with law enforcement in Virginia. In Washington County, Virginia the Sheriff's Office found 37 meth labs last year. Officials tell us they're ahead of pace this year with about 27 meth labs discovered.

In Russell County, Virginia the Sheriff's Office discovered 32 meth labs last year and already 27 labs have been found this year. Investigators say they're tracking the precursors bought at local stores to make meth.

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