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Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 | 5:50 p.m.
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Updated: 5:08 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 | Posted: 11:19 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
By Tina Terry
LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. —
Eyewitness News was the only television station on the scene Friday as deputies broke up a dangerous meth lab in rural Lincolnton.It was the county's 17th meth bust of 2013. Last year, there were only six.In fact, Eyewitness News checked state numbers all the way back to 2001 and couldn't find a number of meth lab busts that even came close to this year's number.Lincoln County deputies credit the spike to a national drug tracking database called NPLEX -- the National Precursor Log Exchange.It lets officers in North Carolina track the sale of ingredients used to make meth.Rather than using the system to build evidence after a bust, detectives in Lincoln County are using it proactively."Our investigators are more on top of the sale as it happens or shortly thereafter. We are spot on in being able to track the offenders."The method has led to some quick and unusual meth arrests. Many times, they've caught dealers during a cook.In at least four cases, there were children around.
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