UPDATE: Missouri Ousted From No. 1 Spot In Meth Incidents
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Data from state officials shows Tennessee has knocked Missouri out of the lead for meth lab busts and seizures for the first time since 2003.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Missouri had 1,960 meth lab incidents in 2010. That's a 10 percent increase over 2009 and a 53 percent jump since 2007. But Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force director Tom Farmer said Tuesday that his state had 2,082 incidents, up 41 percent from a year ago. Meth lab incidents also jumped by nearly 300 in Indiana, to 1,395 in 2010.
Highway Patrol Capt. Tim Hull believes that Missouri's high number of meth lab busts is partly due to aggressive law enforcement. But he also cites a rise in so-called "shake-and-bake" meth that allows the drug to be made quickly in a 2-liter soda bottle.
Nevertheless, Jason Grellner, a Franklin County narcotics officer and former president of the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association, says some Midwestern states that have seen huge spikes in meth lab incidents have so far reported only partial-year statistics to the Drug Enforcement Administration. He says it is possible Missouri could fall from the top spot once final numbers
A DEA spokesman says the department won't release full 2010 numbers until July.