Local agencies crack down on meth labs

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Like many other regions, South Mississippi has a growing meth problem. Almost every day, someone is arrested for possessing or manufacturing methamphetamines.

"If you can bake cookies, you can make meth, unfortunately," Marshall Fisher said.

Fisher is the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. He says methamphetamines have been around for years, but now that meth makers know the recipe, the problem is getting worse.

"Most of them are what we call shake and bake labs. And as you well know, it's an environmental issue. So they can cook it in the back of a pick up truck or a motel room, and you and your family can go and stay in the motel the next night after some violators been in there manufacturing the dope," said Fisher.

Joel Reece with the Mississippi Drug Enforcement Agency said the Gulfport unit is seeing a spike in the number of meth labs.

"We're actually about double this year than what we were last year," said Reece.

The agency has already cleaned up 204 meth labs in 14 counties.

The DEA is also cracking down on meth labs, but they're doing it alone.

"We're trying to do the best we can with the meth problem in Harrison County, because it is a major problem," Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said.

Last year, Sheriff Brisolara established a narcotics unit.

"When we first put the unit together, we were averaging one meth lab a day," said the sheriff. "We were tearing up the meth labs of the rural part of north Harrison County."

Now, the unit shuts down about two meth labs a week.

While the problem is growing in Harrison County, Sheriff Brisolara understands that meth is a problem everywhere. That's why agencies across the state are teaming up to shut down meth labs in South Mississippi.

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