Deputies Urge Caution; But Ask Hunters For Help Spotting Meth Labs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/20/04

Deputies Urge Caution; But Ask Hunters For Help Spotting Meth Labs

Leaders with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department say more and more meth makers are being forced to set up their cook sites in rural areas deep in the woods.

That's because of increased law enforcement and rising public awareness.

As a result, Deputies are asking them to keep their eyes peeled for more than just deer this season.

"So, if you're looking for a hoof-print, when you walk up to an area like this, where this garbage is, it's going to be immediately apparent to the hunter, this doesn't belong here," said Captain. Tony Sauro of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

What appears to be harmless trash or an abandoned household item, could be part of a deadly cook site, left behind by a meth lab operator.

"What happens, especially on a day like today (Saturday)," Sauro said.

"They may put all the lithium in a plastic zip lock bag and put it in the cooler, and plan on coming back to the cook site for a cook. You open that cooler up, the water hits the lithium batteries, they'll explode," Sauro adds.

Sauro is asking hunters to proceed with caution, and report anything suspicious like a site littered with glue guns, Sudafed packages, tubing and propane tanks.

Captain Sauro says that Harrison County has one of the biggest problems with meth in the entire nation, with deputies busting about 15 meth lab sites a month, but now the Sheriff's Department is using a new federal grant to help combat the problem.

"Monies were allotted to us for public announcement, public awareness to educate the public, and also to train our officers, so the federal government has recognized the problem in Harrison County," Sauro said.

While the Sheriff's Department is aiming to hunt down all the meth labs in the county and their operators, they're counting on local hunters to help them track down their prey.

Captain Sauro says the Sheriff's Department will be flying over wooded areas of the county, looking for signs of meth labs.

If you see anything suspicious, call the Harrison County Sheriff's Department at 865-7060.

By: Toni Miles

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