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Crystal Meth Labs

What are Crystal Meth labs?

Crystal Meth labs are illicit operations. They contain the apparatus and chemicals needed to produce the powerful stimulant methamphetamine. These labs vary dramatically in size and output. Large laboratories, known as super labs, produce 10 pounds or more of crystal meth per production cycle. Much smaller laboratories--sometimes called box labs--produce as little as an ounce or less of the drug and are small enough to fit in a box or backpack.
How common are Crystal Meth labs?

Meth Lab
Methamphetamine laboratories are increasingly prevalent throughout the United States. In 2002 more than 7,500 laboratories were seized in 44 states, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) El Paso Intelligence Center National Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System.
While crystal meth production remains most common in the western portion of the United States--particularly California--seizures of crystal meth labs in the west central part of the country have become more commonplace.

Where are Crystal Meth labs found?

Methamphetamine laboratories may be located virtually anywhere. labs have been found in secluded rural areas as well as in residential, commercial, and industrial districts. Law enforcement officers have seized crystal meth labs at private residences, commercial properties, hotels and motels, and outdoor locations. Mobile laboratories have been discovered in automobiles, boats, and luggage.
What are the signs that a Crystal Meth lab may be present? 
The following, often in combination with each other, may indicate the presence of a Crystal Meth lab:

meth lab 1
  • Curtains always drawn, windows covered with aluminum foil or "blacked" on private residences, garages, sheds, or other structures
  • Evidence of chemical waste or dumping
  • Excessive amounts of trash, particularly chemical, coffee filters or pieces of cloth that are stained red, and duct tape rolls
  • Extensive security measures or attempts to ensure privacy (no trespassing or beware of dog signs, fences, large trees or shrubs)
  • Frequent visitors, particularly at unusual times
  • Secretive or unfriendly occupants
  • Unusual odors (ether, ammonia, acetone, or other chemicals)

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