BREMEN – More methamphetamine is popping up in our area’s waters.
Indiana State Police became aware of the problem after a Marshall County fisherman found several suspicious items floating in the Yellow River near Peach Road and 14th Road which he believed could be meth trash. The State Police Meth Suppression Section and the Underwater Search Rescue/Recovery Team joined forces to clear the meth from the river.
For years, State Police MSS and Clandestine Lab team have been responsible for cleaning up meth labs, and authorities have seen a lot of the meth thrown along the side of roads. Trooper Andy Cochran says it now appears the meth cooks have turned to tossing their trash into our waterways.
Officers spent the better part of a day searching nearly three miles of the Yellow River. “The amount of trash that we found in the river made your stomach turn,” said Underwater Search Rescue Sergeant Trent Smith. State Police found more than two dozen plastic bottles that were used as 1-Pot Reaction Vessels or Hydrogen Chloride Gas Generators and empty pseudoephedrine blister packs, burnt foil strips, soiled coffee filters, empty instant cold packs, aquatic tubing, salt, and smoking devices. Officers also removed other non-hazardous trash from the river as they came across it but quickly ran out of space on their boats.
With warmer weather here, more of us will be outside walking, jogging and bike riding in rural areas, and Smith says there’s the potential we may come across a meth lab or trash left behind by those who have manufactured meth. Smith reminds us the trash from outdoor meth labs may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive and acidic. When mixed together, the chemicals can be highly explosive. The fumes are toxic and can cause internal damage to organs.
If you think you’ve found a meth lab, call the Indiana State Police Meth Hotline at 1-800-435-4756 or report it online. Tips may be made anonymously.