Updated: 6:46 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2011 | Posted: 6:19 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2011
Police In York County See Increase In Meth Labs
YORK COUNTY, S.C. —
Police in York County are dealing with a disturbing trend: an increase in the number of meth labs found in the area.
In the past six weeks, police with the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit told Eyewitness News, they have found five meth labs. Compare that with 2010, when they worked on five cases for the entire year.
The latest case happened early Friday morning. Police said they found a lab in the back of a man's pickup truck outside the Walmart in Tega Cay.
On Thursday afternoon, officers arrested three people at the Quality Inn and Suites in Rock Hill, where they said they found a lab inside a suitcase in one of the rooms.
Marvin Brown, the commander of the Drug Enforcement Unit, said that case is extremely concerning because it puts other guests at risk.
“You may come into town for a softball tournament, or who knows what, and you're in a room right beside somebody cooking a meth lab," Brown said.
Within recent weeks, police said, they also found another lab at the Best Way Inn in Rock Hill and in two homes.
Because of the recent spike in cases, police are educating more officers to investigate those types of crimes. Meth labs are so dangerous, in part, because they can easily blow up.
Police are also educating residents about the lab's ammonia-like smell so they know what to look for, and stressing how serious the charges related to meth labs are.
One man recently convicted of operating a meth lab is serving 17 years in prison.