Methamphetamine labs, typically houses, apartments or trailers where people use various chemicals and equipment to make methamphetamine, are on the increase in St. Johns County, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. In the article, the St. Johns County sergeant discusses three arrests related to three separate St. Johns County meth labs in one week and one call where a house burned down due to a meth lab in St. Johns County several months ago. In order to deal with the problem, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is training more officers for methamphetamine lab detection and investigation. Other counties in Northeast Florida are also experiencing a lot of methamphetamine related cases including Duval County, Clay County and Flagler County.
Like cocaine, marijuana and illegal pill cases, one of the primary ways the police learn of meth labs and meth dealers is by talking to the people who know the people involved. These discussions often occur after someone gets arrested and “flips” on someone else to try and get a better deal with the state. However, because methamphetamine is often made on-site, meth labs offer another method for police to learn of their existence. Meth labs typically create strong and distinctive chemical fumes that can be smelled by neighbors or others nearby who often alert police to the suspected meth lab. A complaint to police of a potential meth lab based on the smell is often the first step in a meth lab investigation.