Meth Makers Work In Their Cars, Discard “Trash Labs”


“The way to get rid of your meth lab these days is to put it in a plastic bag, then throw it out the car window,” William Wargo, an Indiana county prosecutor’s investigator, tells the New York Times. The county has found at least a dozen “trash labs,” the latest public safety hazard to emerge from the ever-shifting methods of producing methamphetamine. The cases show that a new, more-popular way of making meth does not demand a lot of space or a lot of pseudoephedrine, an essential ingredient. The new method is a quick, mobile, one-pot recipe that requires only a few pills, a two-liter bottle and some common household chemicals.

Officials in several states say addicts and dealers have become expert at making meth on the move, often in cars; they discard their garbage and chemical byproducts as they go, in an effort to destroy evidence and evade police. Some 65 percent of Tennessee meth lab seizures are the one-pot, or “shake-and-bake,” variety. The number of meth labs seized in Oklahoma last year rose to 743 from 148 four years ago, largely because of the prevalence of moving labs. Indiana state police say meth lab seizures rose nearly 27 percent from 2008 to 2009.

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